CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin said he was a no vote on the “For the People Act” election reform bill. Now, Manchin says he could vote yes if major changes are adopted. They include making Election Day a national holiday to boost voter turnout, giving every state 15 days of early voting, and including allowing utility bill could be used as an ID to allow you to vote.
“And I’ve been working across the aisle with all of the Republicans, trying to get everyone to understand that that’s the bedrock of our democracy. An accessible, fair, and basically secure vote. That’s it,” said Senator Joe Manchin.
Manchin is under tremendous pressure from both sides. He was even the target of a protest rally this week in Charleston. But it appears not many Republicans have warmed to his proposed changes.
“There is no rational basis for the federal government trying to take over all of American elections,” said Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell.
While the For the People Act promises to expand voting by mail and same-day voter registration on Election Day, most Republicans say those decisions should be left up to each state, as they were in 2020 and before.
“We had a pandemic. Yet each state figured out a way, as West Virginia did, to increase the availability of of voters, increase the other options for voters, that are suitable to their state,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito.
It’s possible there could be a floor vote in the Senate next week.
Even if Democrats secure a yes vote from Senator Manchin, that’s not enough. They must have 60 votes to block a promised filibuster, and they’d need 10 Republicans to join them on that, which is doubtful.