CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — The U.S. Senate is nearing a major vote on the issue of voter rights, but it’s not getting much support in our region. A copy of the 735-page federal voting rights bill sits on the desk of West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner.
He doubts that few, if any, in Congress have read the entire bill. It would force states to give everyone absentee ballots without having a reason. It would extend early voting from 10 to 15 days, and it would get rid of state voter ID laws and allow same-day voter registration.
Secretary of State Warner says it violates states’ rights.
“Article 1, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution says the time, manner and place of elections shall be left to the state legislatures. And our state legislature has done a wonderful job balancing access with security. And these elections need to be run at the county level,” said Warner.
“Stop partisan redistricting. Stop the suppression of the vote and nullification of elections. Stop big, dark money,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The voting rights bill in the Senate is tied to an effort to eliminate the filibuster, but two Democrats, including West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, are opposed to killing the filibuster. And it could torpedo the voting rights bill altogether. Secretary of State Mac Warner says he’s seen no evidence of voter suppression in West Virginia.
This version of the voting rights bill does not have the support of any Republicans in the U.S. Senate. The final vote is now scheduled for Tuesday night.