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3. Raise the threshold for objections

Under current law, if one senator and one member of the House sign an objection, then the chambers must separate for two hours of debate and then vote on the objection. With the proposed change, debate would be triggered only if a significantly higher number of members join the objection.

The Case For

Proponents of raising the objection threshold argue that current law allows fringe objections supported by very few members of Congress. These fringe objections, they contend, have no possibility of being sustained by a majority of Congress. By setting the threshold so low, current law incentivizes political grandstanding instead of serious debate.

A higher threshold still ensures that the minority party gets heard. In the past century, supporters observe, no party has ever controlled three-quarters of both chambers.

Supporters also argue that the current low threshold risks giving the false impression that the outcome of a clearly settled election is in genuine doubt and might be reversed. That false impression contributed to the atmosphere on January 6, 2021, they argue, that ultimately turned violent.

The Case Against

Opponents of raising the objection threshold argue that doing so would stifle debate and the airing of concerns about the election. They observe that the objection process simply triggers two hours of debate. After that debate, a majority of Congress must vote to sustain the objection for a state’s electoral votes to be rejected. Raising the objection threshold would not alter the rules for how Congress counts electoral votes, they argue, it only prevents minority views from being discussed.