After Election Day in 2020, numerous lawsuits were taken to state and federal court, as happens after many elections. Those lawsuits addressed a wide range of allegations of voter fraud and other improprieties. The existing ECA takes some steps towards ensuring that Congress follow the decisions made by courts in those cases. For example, it says that if a state has provided a means of resolving election disputes “by judicial or other methods” that such rulings “shall be conclusive.” Still, there is wide agreement that the law is convoluted and incomplete on this point. Many have proposed a clearer provision that, if courts have decided a question about whether a state has validly determined its electors, on January 6 Congress must count those electors’ votes.
Under ECA currently, as well as with this clarification, courts do not play a substantive role in appointing electors. The Constitution clearly assigns that responsibility to the states. Instead, courts play the limited role of determining which electors the states had already appointed according to the laws in place on Election Day.