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Manchin to Vote Against Democrats' Election Reform Bill: 'I Think It Would Divide Us More'

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) said Sunday that he plans on voting against the Democratic-backed election bill, the For the People Act, because it would further divide an already divisive nation.


Manchin said on "Fox News Sunday" that there is "a lot of great things" in the bill but that it contains "things that basically don't pertain directly to voting."

It's the wrong piece of legislation to bring our country together and unite our country, and I'm not supporting that because I think it would divide us more. I don't want to be in a country that's divided any further.

The bill, also known as S1, would overhaul current U.S. election laws with the goal of making it easier to vote. The bill would require states to automatically register eligible voters and offer residents same-day voter registration. 

The legislation would also mandate that states offer 15 days of early voting and no-excuse absentee ballots, which 14 states currently do not permit. The states that already allow no-excuse absentee voting would have to conform to the standards of S.1.

In an op-ed for the Charleston Gazette-Mail, Manchin explained why he opposed the For the People Act:

Do we really want to live in an America where one party can dictate and demand everything and anything it wants, whenever it wants? I have always said, "If I can’t go home and explain it, I can’t vote for it." And I cannot explain strictly partisan election reform or blowing up the Senate rules to expedite one party’s agenda.


Manchin also detailed in the article his grievances with Democrats for wanting to end the filibuster to pass S.1.

With that in mind, some Democrats have again proposed eliminating the Senate filibuster rule in order to pass the For the People Act with only Democratic support. They’ve attempted to demonize the filibuster and conveniently ignore how it has been critical to protecting the rights of Democrats in the past.

Manchin and fellow moderate, Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D), are enduring Democratic pressure to vote for the election reform bill. 

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