One proposed change would clarify that the vice chairman has solely a ceremonial and administrative function within the counting of electoral votes. One other would make it far tougher to lift objections underneath the legislation, which at the moment permits a single senator and Home member to mount a problem to a state’s electoral votes. Within the invoice drafted by Mr. King, Mr. Durbin and Ms. Klobuchar, electors may very well be challenged provided that a 3rd of every chamber objected.
Within the Home, 4 members of the committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault — Consultant Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming, and Representatives Zoe Lofgren and Adam B. Schiff of California and Jamie Raskin of Maryland, all Democrats — are additionally engaged on a rewrite of the Electoral Rely Act. They’ve additionally mentioned whether or not to broaden their invoice to incorporate measures blocking anti-democratic election practices on the state stage, reminiscent of permitting partisan legislators to pick presidential electors as a substitute of the voters.
Ms. Collins’s group has mentioned a number of measures, reminiscent of increasing the allowable makes use of of federal election grants, now primarily for purchasing voting machines not linked to the web, to incorporate recruiting and coaching election staff, buying voting machines that create paper ballots and increasing cybersecurity efforts. She mentioned the group additionally agreed that stiff new penalties needs to be created to thwart the form of harassment and intimidation of election officers that supporters of Mr. Trump had meted out, a provision taken from the Freedom to Vote Act.
They’re nonetheless debating how far to go in blocking the elimination of nonpartisan election officers with out trigger by partisan state officers or legislators. The Democrats’ voting rights invoice makes such actions a federal crime until malfeasance by the election official will be proved.
For Democrats, that provision is a necessity. They usually say for Ms. Collins’s measure to realize any traction, Republicans must settle for some provisions from the voting rights invoice to fight voter suppression, reminiscent of a minimal variety of early voting days or a compromise provision drafted by Mr. Manchin that accepts voter identification legal guidelines however ensures that an array of identifications can be acceptable.
“It’s essential to make sure that the votes are counted each with provisions within the Freedom to Vote Act and the Electoral Rely Act, however that’s nonetheless no substitute for safeguarding individuals’s proper to vote from the start,” mentioned Ms. Klobuchar, who’s chairwoman of the Guidelines Committee, which might take into account such laws.
Ms. Collins mentioned her group — which incorporates two extra Republicans and two extra Democrats who haven’t publicly divulged their involvement — will meet once more the week after the voting rights invoice is blocked.