Bipartisan Senate Group Hits the Gas on a More Modest Election Overhaul Bill

The lawmakers, who plan to meet by Zoom next week, are discussing changes to the Electoral Count Act and ways to protect election officials from threats

(L-R) U.S. Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

A bipartisan Senate group plans to hit the gas on a modest package of election overhauls, seeing a clear path to negotiate in the coming days after Democrats' two major voting rights bills went down in defeat.

The group plans to meet virtually during next week's recess to find a path forward on issues from clarifying the Electoral Count Act of 1887 to protecting election officials from threats and intimidation, according to senators involved.

Initial conversations have included Republicans Susan Collins of Maine, Mitt Romney of Utah, Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Dan Sullivan of Alaska and Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire.

The group first met Jan. 5, a source familiar with the meeting said. Participants exchanged notes on issues they believed were worth tackling in a potential package. Staffers of interested members met Thursday to discuss the scope of the package and determine whether there's enough overlap in ideas, a source familiar with the meeting said. Members plan to talk again as early as Friday.

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