Padilla Applauds Movement of Electoral Count Reform Act in Senate￼
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today. U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) spoke before the Senate Rules Committee as it considered the Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act. During his remarks, Padilla spoke about the importance of upholding the Oath of Office elected officials take when entering their office. He also made the case for protecting election workers and the need to make it easier for all eligible Americans to vote. Padilla voted to move the legislation out of the Rules Committee, which passed by a vote of 14-1.
“When we were each sworn in, we swore to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States,” said Padilla. “That includes working to ensure that an insurrection and attack on our democracy can never happen again. I’m committed to building the necessary support for this bill in the Senate, reaching out to our colleagues in the House, and getting this bill to the President’s desk.”
Senator Padilla wants to preserve and protect the free and fair elections that are the foundation of American democracy. During a Senate Judiciary Committee, Padilla questioned elections officials on threats to democracy and safe and fair elections. Padilla also used his platform on the Senate Rules Committee to call on Congress to step up efforts to protect election workers.
More information about the hearing is available here.
A transcript of Padilla’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, is below:
Madame Chair, last week, I was pleased to join as a cosponsor of the Electoral Count Reform Act. I want to speak briefly about why I’m supporting it here today.
Electoral Count Act reform is critical to ensuring that the process of certifying future Presidential elections — and the peaceful transfer of power that is fundamental to our democracy — cannot be disrupted as they were on January 6th. As we take this next step in the legislative process, I want to thank all the members involved in crafting this bipartisan bill, because I’m mindful that this isn’t just another vote at another markup. This vote is about living up to our oath of office.
When we were each sworn in, we swore to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. That includes working to ensure that an insurrection and attack on our democracy can never happen again. I’m committed to building the necessary support for this bill in the Senate, reaching out to our colleagues in the House, and getting this bill to the President’s desk.
But as important as it is to fix the outdated Electoral Count Act, as California’s former Secretary of State, I know this isn’t the only part of our elections system that needs updating. Across the country, too many Americans still experience unnecessary obstacles to exercising their right to vote. And election workers, who stand on the frontlines of our democracy, are increasingly facing threats and harassment for simply doing their jobs. We must do better.
So as urgent and as important it is to pass the Electoral Count Reform Act now, I urge all of us to build on the bipartisan effort at the center of this markup today, and to come together again to fully update our election system. To protect our election workers. To secure the fundamental right to vote. And to make it easier for all eligible Americans — Republican, Democrat, and Independent — to participate in our democracy.
So thank you, again, to my colleagues for coming together today to strengthen our democratic process. May this be a first step — but an important step — to protect the voices of millions of Americans. I urge my colleagues to vote for the substitute, and for the bill as amended. Thank you.