Action Under the Dome for Monday, December 7

Monday, December 7, 2020
Jen Lancaster

On December 2nd, Maine legislators voted in a new secretary of state. Congrats to Shenna Bellows! We wish her all the best, and we look forward to working together to modernize our elections, broaden access to the ballot, and strengthen election security. 

Speaking of things we would like to see pass in the new legislature, a team of League staff and volunteers are working to sign the National Popular Vote (NPV) Compact into law. We have added a special newsletter for NPV, and you can subscribe here. You can also update your subscription by clicking the link at the bottom of this email. 



Federal Election 2020 Deadlines: December 8 is the deadline for resolving election disputes at the state level. State election results certified by that date are guaranteed under federal law to count in the Electoral College. On December 14, presidential electors vote by paper ballot in their respective states and the District of Columbia. The new 117th Congress will be sworn in on January 3, 2021. Of course, there will be a lame duck session of Congress between now and then. On January 6, the US House and Senate hold a joint session to count the electoral votes. If one ticket has received 270 or more electoral votes, the president of the Senate, currently Vice President Mike Pence, announces the results. And finally, on January 20, the president-elect is sworn into office on Inauguration Day.


Let's pass HR1 in 2021: To create the kind of change voters want to see in our democracy, our next administration and Congress must support the passage of HR1— the For the People Act — a once-in-a-generation democracy reform package to clean up our political system, get big money out of politics, hold elected officials accountable for corruption, expand and protect voting rights, and create a democracy that values the voices of all Americans. Learn more and sign our petition.


Here in Maine: The 130th Legislature has been sworn in. It is likely to be a session unlike any other as lawmakers contend with governing during a pandemic. Cloture is the deadline for legislators to submit proposed bills for consideration. Although it has often been postponed by leadership agreement in past legislatures, we are hearing that the December 18th date will be firm this year for this unprecedented pandemic session.



A new report outlines what we did to prepare for Election Day. We describe the advocacy and structural work that we adopted for the challenge of running an election during COVID. We had more than 100 volunteers on the ground on Election Day, and we have over 300 reports from the field. Finally, this report provides a few lessons on what we learned, and of course, a few recommendations. Read it here.