On Tuesday, Axios reported that a top Republican leader has signaled there is some Republican support for legislation to reform the Electoral Count Act of 1887.
"While broader federal voting rights legislation remains mired in the Senate as long as the 60-vote filibuster rule applies, Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) told Axios there's 'some interest' among Senate Republicans in reforming the Electoral Count Act of 1887," reported Sophia Cai. "The goal would be to clarify the role the vice president and Congress play in certifying presidential elections. Both were flashpoints a year ago as Donald Trump challenged the finalization of the 2020 election results."
There is still no indication that there is any Republican support for the two flagship Democratic pieces of voting rights legislation — the Freedom to Vote Act, which would set minimum standards of voting access and ban partisan gerrymandering, and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would restore and fix the voting rights protections struck down by the Supreme Court in 2013.
However, the statement by Thune comes just hours after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who supports both voting rights bills, told CNN reporter Manu Raju, after months of resistance, that he might be open to some modest reforms to the Senate filibuster rule.
Manchin's suggestions include lowering the vote requirements to break a filibuster if some senators are absent from the floor, and removing filibusters from certain procedural votes — though neither of these changes would likely be enough on their own to allow passage of the voting rights bills.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has vowed to pass the voting rights legislation in January, and to change Senate rules if necessary to do so.