“Every vote should be accessible, it should be secure, and it should be fair. That’s the responsibility we have, and [if] the states are subverting that, then we should put guard rails on it,” he said on MetroNews, although he did not specify what parts of the bill he doesn’t support.
If the bill becomes law, it would create nationwide automatic voter registration, require states to allow no-excuse absentee voting, and it would allow felons who completed their incarceration to vote, among a litany of other changes. It would also require certain politically active groups, including 401(c)3 “dark money” nonprofit organizations, to disclose donors who give $10,000 or more, reducing the influence of independent, expenditure-only “super PACs,” among other measures.
There are only two ways H.R. 1 will pass in the Senate and end up on President Joe Biden‘s desk: if the Democrats can convince 10 Republicans to vote in favor of it, or if they eliminate the filibuster, a ploy Manchin has repeatedly denounced.
Manchin railed against the idea of passing the party-line vote on Tuesday.
“How in the world could you, with the tension we have right now, allow a voting bill to restructure the voting of America on a partisan line? I just believe with all my heart and soul that’s what would happen, and I’m not going to be part of it,” he told Vox.
Passing election reform without bipartisan support would “guarantee” that the number of people who don’t trust the election system would increase, Manchin said.
Despite that, the West Virginia senator has stressed the importance of measures within the bill.
“There are some legitimate concerns about the implementation of theFor the People Act, especially in rural areas,” Manchin noted in a March 25 statement.
Manchin expressed his support for expanding early voting to at least 15 days, and two weekend days, in every state, and he called for states to help groups that have been historically disenfranchised and underrepresented more than before. He called out the “disturbing role” dark money plays in elections and said he will continue to support campaign finance reform.
The West Virginia senator, whose office declined to elaborate on what specifics he’s against, said that the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, H.R. 4, should be passed.