Manchin, who announced his opposition to the Democrats’ sweeping electoral law earlier this month, is not against everything in the bill. According to a source familiar with information he circulates, Manchin shares with colleagues that he supports expanded early voting and a ban on partisan gerrymandering. But he also wants new voter ID requirements and more flexibility for state officials to remove voters from the electoral roll, which goes against the draft voting rights bill that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer plans to table next week.
Manchin is also against unexcused postal voting and has signaled unease about the public funding of elections, two other parts of the broader bill known as “P. 1”. And he tells his co-workers that he still believes he is getting Republican support.
According to a memo from Manchin that POLITICO received, a compromise would be to make election day a public holiday, to require 15 consecutive days of early voting, to allow automatic registration via the DMV with the option of de-registration and a voter ID with alternatives to charging like utility bills.
Republicans who joined the meeting include Sens. Lindsay Graham, Susan Collins, Mitt Romney, and Tim Scott, according to senators and sources familiar with the meeting. In addition, Manchin invited Sens. Richard Burr (RN.C.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Thom Tillis (RN.C.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.) . .
“I did it because I was asked by Senator Manchin,” said Graham. “We have differences [S. 1]but I want to make the vote easier. Perhaps you have some common postal voting standards. There may be some things we can do … He’s always trying to find a way forward. “