Other Group

Presidential Election Project

Type:

Issue Advocacy Group

Location:

Washington, D.C

The Presidential Election Project was formed to build support among Republican members of Congress and right-of-center activists for amendments the Electoral Count Act of 1887 that would “exhaustively” identify the reasons Congress could decline to certify a state’s electoral votes. The group contents that there is bipartisan support for such legislation and wants to “prevent another January 6th” and prevent “last-minute gamesmanship” by clarifying that the Vice President does not have unilateral authority to reject slates of electors. [1] [2]

Activities

The Presidential Election Project was launched in 2022 and ran ads urging Republicans to support amendments to the Electoral Count Act of 1887. As of July 2022, the group’s website is unclear in terms of who funds the group, how it is organized, or who runs it. [3] [4]

The group has promoted several commentary pieces arguing that there is broad support for amendments to Electoral Count Act, which governs the procedure for confirming the votes of the Electoral College for President and Vice President. These assertions follow the arguments made by supporters of then-President Donald Trump that then-Vice President Mike Pence had broad discretion to reject electoral votes from certain states. The group argues that if such an argument can be made, it could also be made by Democrats, particularly pointing to the possibility of Vice President Kamala Harris deciding the 2024 election for Joe Biden (or herself) by stating that votes from states like Florida and Georgia that have enacted election integrity laws cannot be counted by claiming they “illegally suppress” votes. [5] [6]

Commentary pieces promoted by the group point to the need for an “airtight” definition of what counts as a “certified” electoral vote and clarification that the Vice President has no discretionary powers to reject electoral votes. [7] [8]

The group’s website links to an article from the libertarian Cato Institute that points to a “discussion draft” of the Electoral Count Modernization Act introduced in February 2022 by Senators Angus King (I-ME), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) as a good starting point for a bipartisan bill. [9] [10]

To sway right-of-center activists and Republicans in Congress towards supporting efforts to reform the Electoral Count Act, the Presidential Election Project launched advertisements on right-of-center podcasts and National Review. The group has also promoted interviews with Kevin Kosar of the American Enterprise Institute within conservative media. [11] [12]

Leadership

While it is unknown who runs the organization, much of the Presidential Election Project’s media centers around Kevin Kosar, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute who focuses on the administrative state. Kosar has written about how Republicans should be concerned that given arguments made by former President Donald Trump, that Vice President Kamala Harris could claim broad authority over the count of electoral votes in the 2024 election. [13] [14]

References

  1. “Simple Reforms Could Prevent Election Chaos.” Presidential Election Project. June 15, 2022. Accessed July 1, 2022. https://presidentialelectionproject.com/news/f/simple-reforms-could-prevent-election-chaos ^
  2. Hillyer, Quinn. “Jan. 6 hearing aside, the Electoral Count Act deserves a vote.” Washington Examiner. June 9, 2022. Accessed July 1, 2022. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/jan-6-hearing-aside-the-electoral-count-act-deserves-a-vote ^
  3. “News.” Presidential Election Project. Accessed July 1, 2022. https://presidentialelectionproject.com/news ^
  4. Hillyer, Quinn. “Jan. 6 hearing aside, the Electoral Count Act deserves a vote.” Washington Examiner. June 9, 2022. Accessed July 1, 2022. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/jan-6-hearing-aside-the-electoral-count-act-deserves-a-vote ^
  5. “News.” Presidential Election Project. Accessed July 1, 2022. https://presidentialelectionproject.com/news ^
  6. Berry, Thomas. “Simple Reforms Could Prevent Election Chaos.” Reason. June 13, 2022. Accessed July 1, 2022. https://www.cato.org/blog/reviewing-proposed-electoral-count-modernization-act#readmore ^
  7. “News.” Presidential Election Project. Accessed July 1, 2022. https://presidentialelectionproject.com/news ^
  8. Berry, Thomas. “Simple Reforms Could Prevent Election Chaos.” Reason. June 13, 2022. Accessed July 1, 2022. https://www.cato.org/blog/reviewing-proposed-electoral-count-modernization-act#readmore ^
  9. Berry, Thomas. “Simple Reforms Could Prevent Election Chaos.” Reason. June 13, 2022. Accessed July 1, 2022. https://www.cato.org/blog/reviewing-proposed-electoral-count-modernization-act#readmore ^
  10. “Cato Institute: Reviewing the Proposed Electoral Count Modernization Act.” Presidential Election Project. Accessed July 1, 2022. https://presidentialelectionproject.com/news/f/reviewing-the-proposed-electoral-count-modernization-act ^
  11. “Expert Interviews.” Presidential Election Project. Accessed July 1, 2022. https://presidentialelectionproject.com/expert-interviews ^
  12. “Chicks on the Right Show with Mock and Daisy. Chartable. Accessed July 1, 2022. https://chartable.com/podcasts/mock-and-daisys-common-sense-cast/episodes/115792568-daily-dish-uvalde-our-broken-culture-and-more ^
  13. “Kevin Kosar.” American Enterprise Institute. Accessed July 1, 2022. https://www.aei.org/profile/kevin-r-kosar/ ^
  14. Kosar, Kevin. “Why the Electoral Count Act Needs Reform: A Q&A with Matthew Seligman.” July 20, 2021. Accessed July 1, 2022. https://www.aei.org/politics-and-public-opinion/why-the-electoral-count-act-needs-reform-a-qa-with-matthew-seligman/ ^
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