The headline on a front-page Jan. 20 Press Herald article (“Both Maine senators act to safeguard the process for U.S. elections”), claiming that both Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins are working to safeguard the process for U.S. elections, is a massive misstatement of the legislative facts. While it is true that both of Maine’s senators are working to overhaul the Electoral Count Act of 1887, only one of Maine’s senators is working to safeguard the overall process: Sen. King.

While the antiquated law in question should certainly be revised to try to thwart a future Jan. 6, this alone will not prevent the delegitimizing of our democracy. Partisans on both sides of the aisle, but particularly those on the right, have continuously called into question the legitimacy of the elections in United States in recent years. This self-fulfilling feedback loop could ultimately be a death spiral for our constitutional, democratic republic.

If Sen. Collins were as serious about this threat as she claims to be, she would engage in deliberate bipartisan talks to protect access to the ballot and prevent election subversion. If elections are subverted before the electors are sent to Congress, an updated version of the Electoral Count Act would not save our democracy.

Instead, Sen. Collins refuses to seriously engage in these much-needed reforms. The article’s headline obscures this point and should, instead, note that it is only Sen. King who is trying to safeguard our elections. Maybe Sen. Collins will rediscover the “moderate, bipartisan senator” of yesteryear. I wouldn’t count on it.

Daniel Hutchins

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