Democratic senator Joe Manchin (W.Va.) is defying the odds, saying he will vote against the election reform bill pushed by his colleagues.
Manchin said that because the bill, properly called the “For the People Act,” was forced through via the reconciliation process, it will further deepen the existing divides in Congress and the country as a whole.
“I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy, and for that reason, I will vote against the For the People Act,” he wrote in his home-state newspaper, the Charleston Gazette-Mail, per the Epoch Times.
Manchin also reaffirmed that he won’t vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster.
If passed, the bill would drastically increase potential for voter fraud. Indeed, it would federalize components of the election system, eliminating nearly all requirements for photo identification, require states to offer 15 days of early voting, allow “no-excuse” absentee balloting, require states to implement a system of automatic voter registration, and allow same-day registration on any day voting is allowed.
Manchin also expressed concern over the trend of vying for absolute power over cooperation in Washington.
“It has been said by much wiser people than me that absolute power corrupts absolutely,” he wrote. “Well, what I’ve seen during my time in Washington is that every party in power will always want to exercise absolute power, absolutely.”
While several republican states - beginning with Georgia - have come forward with election bills that seek to ensure fair and free elections, democrats have been working behind the scenes to make permanent some of the changes implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told colleagues that he will force a Senate vote on the reform bill “that is essential to defending our democracy, reducing the influence of dark money and powerful special interests, and stopping the wave of republican voter suppression happening in states across the country.”
To no surprise, the bill is expected to receive little support from republicans, if any.