Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is continuing to make life difficult for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) and her colleagues. According to the Washington Examiner, the West Virginia Democrat recently doubled down on his refusal to support H.R. 1, House Democrats’ recently passed voting rights measure that has been dubbed the “For the People Act of 2021.”
Manchin said he agreed with many of the provisions in H.R. 1, but he made clear that he can’t support it in its current form.
“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,” Manchin said in a recent Vox interview.
As far as many Republicans are concerned, H.R. 1 does the opposite of making voting secure and fair, as it would automatically register every American citizen to vote, require states to allow no-excuse absentee ballot requests, and also require states to let felons who have served their sentences cast their ballots.
Stripping states’ rights
The main problem with H.R. 1, other than the fact that many believe it will open the door to potential widespread voter fraud by putting millions of new voter registrations on the table to be exploited, is that it takes away power from the states to determine the rules for their own elections — a power that the U.S. Constitution provides them and a power that the federal government should not be allowed to trample.
The bill goes far beyond Manchin’s “guardrails,” in his words, which is presumably why he can’t get on board with his party.
But just as important as making sure everyone who wants to vote and is eligible can do so is making sure that people don’t vote in fraudulent ways, such as more than once, or when they are ineligible, as in the case of felons or illegal immigrants.
Noticeably absent in the Democrats’ bill is any requirement that voters present identification to prove that they are who they say they are on Election Day or when requesting an absentee ballot. The legislation also lacks a requirement for signature verification of absentee ballots.
Do Democrats want voter fraud?
The aforementioned provisions would likely go a long way to preventing voter fraud, but Democrats seemingly aren’t interested in preventing questions of election integrity. In fact, H.R. 1 seems to further concerns from many Republicans that Democrats aren’t particularly worried about the possibility of widespread voter and ballot fraud in American elections.
Numerous polls have shown that Democrat and Republican voters alike favor voter ID requirements, but many Democrats are quick to call voter ID a “racist” concept and want their constituents to believe that members of minority communities lack access to acquiring proper identification, even when such documentation is already required for actions as ubiquitous as buying alcohol and picking up will call tickets.
It’s disingenuous, and if Democrats lack the integrity and common sense to take steps like requiring proper identification to cast a vote, they surely shouldn’t be trusted to draft new laws related to voting in America.
For now, Manchin is holding back the avalanche of disastrous, progressive Democratic legislation that Pelosi and her colleagues continue to push. Let’s hope that he continues to hold the line while Republicans have a chance to disrupt their plans by winning back majority control of the lower chamber in the 2022 midterm elections.