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Johnson votes against House electoral count reform

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Republican Rep. Dusty Johnson has voted against a proposal to reform the electoral counting process.

The bill would clarify the presidential certification process and make it harder for election result skeptics to exploit ambiguities in the law.

South Dakota’s lone representative calls the House bill flawed and says it needs improvement. Nine Republicans joined all Democrats voting for the bill.

Johnson declined to say whether he supports a similar bill in the Senate.

“I prefer the version that Senate is working on, and look forward to it coming over to the House,” Johnson said in a statement.

The Senate legislation has a narrower focus defining the vice president’s role as ministerial during electoral vote counts. It raises the threshold for challenging state electors. It also strikes a provision that state lawmakers could use to override the popular vote in their states.

The Senate bill is scheduled for a hearing next Tuesday.

Lee Strubinger is SDPB’s Rapid City-based news and political reporter. A former reporter for Fort Lupton Press (CO) and Colorado Public Radio, Lee holds a master’s in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.