Congress Can Prevent Another Jan. 6 Crisis

The counting of electoral votes after a presidential election was an uneventful ritual for generations: Congress would convene a joint session, tally the votes, and declare a winner. There weren’t meant to be any surprises; in any case, the voters had already spoken.

But this course of has turn out to be more and more controversial over the previous 20 years, by no means extra so than on Jan. 6, 2021, when sure members of Congress objected to the votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania. Deceptive interpretations of the legislation that governs the vote tally—the Electoral Depend Act of 1887—swirled, main some to demand that Vice President Mike Pence, whose function was merely to preside over the proceedings, reverse the outcomes. Fortunately, Mr. Pence upheld the rule of legislation and carried out his ministerial accountability.

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