Sen. Joe Manchin will not back the Democrats’ election overhaul bill; instead he’s pushing for legislation with a narrower scope. The West Virginia Democrat was reluctant to approve the radical SB1 measure without bipartisan support.
His suggestion for legislation that can move forward — the John Lewis Voting Rights Act — is a far less sweeping package that he believes could garner Republican support.
“I believe Democrats and Republicans feel very strongly about protecting the ballot boxes, allowing people to protect the right to vote, making it accessible, making it fair and making it secure and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, if we apply that to all 50 states and territories, it’s something that can be done,” Manchin told ABC News.
A February poll shows West Virginia voters overwhelmingly oppose the “For the People Act.”
Senate Democrats, nonetheless, were committed to muscling through Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s version of the bill on their own, yet it was an uphill climb.
Manchin’s proposal comes one day after the Senate Rules Committee deadlocked 9-9 along party lines on passing SB1 out of committee. Manchin and others knew the bill would not receive the 60 required votes to depart the Senate and head to President Joe Biden’s desk.
This is why, according to Ed Morrissey at HotAir, “progressives attempted to smear Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema as racists for protecting the filibuster. The truth behind HR1 and SB1 is that they are radical proposals designed to federalize elections and roll back popular regulations like voter ID.”
The “For the People Act” mandates 15 days of early voting, allows same-day voter registration, and limit states’ ability to curb mail-in voting and the use of ballot boxes, and more.
Critics note it also federalizes the election process and imposes unconstitutional mandates on states.
Republicans call it a “power grab” and “one party takeover” that makes the voting system more vulnerable to fraud.
“It would implement the worst rules changes that occurred during last year’s election and make them nationwide,” a lawyer told Alpha News Thursday. “Then it would erode basic security protocols states have in place. This would interfere with the ability of states and people to do vital things, like determine voter eligibility, ensure the accuracy of voter registration rolls, secure fair elections, and generally, participate freely in the political process.”
A.J. Kaufman is an Alpha News columnist. His work has appeared in the Baltimore Sun, Florida Sun-Sentinel, Indianapolis Star, Israel National News, Orange County Register, St. Cloud Times, Star-Tribune, and across AIM Media Midwest and the Internet. Kaufman previously worked as a school teacher and military historian.