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GOP's Portman calls Manchin's voting reform compromise a 'federal takeover' of election system

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) called Sen. Joe Manchin's (D-W.V.) recent memo on federal voting rights legislation, which was viewed largely as a compromise for opponents and supporters of a more sweeping reform bill, "a federal takeover of the election system." 

"What he's saying to the state of Ohio ... [is] 'We're gonna decide how redistricting is done, we're gonna take it away from the democracy,' in effect," Portman said, referring to one of Manchin's proposals to ban partisan gerrymandering. "Right now, in Ohio, our state legislature makes that decision. These are elected representatives and he wants to take it away and make it a federal responsibility through some kind of a commission."

Manchin's blueprint received some praise from Democrats last week, but Portman's opposition to it appears to reaffirm the widely held belief that it would fail to secure enough Republican votes to pass the Senate without altering the filibuster. Portman is often one of the more moderate Republicans in the upper chamber, and, barring any major surprises, he'd likely have to be among the 10 GOP senators to cross the aisle if Manchin's strategy were to stand a chance.