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County clerks send US senators letters opposing For the People Act

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A majority of West Virginia county clerks have signed letters to U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., in opposition to a broad voting proposal.

The House of Representatives passed its version of the For the People Act in March, which would require states to have same-day voter registration and automatic voter registration, as well as 15 days of early voting in federal elections. The proposal would also change the Federal Elections Commission and place new restrictions on super PACs.

None of West Virginia’s House members supported the bill.

Fifty-four of West Virginia’s 55 county clerks signed the letters; Monongalia County Clerk Carye Blaney was the only clerk who did not sign. The clerks noted in their letters their opposition to the For the People Act and support for the filibuster, a procedural move in the Senate requiring 60 lawmakers to vote for ending debate on legislation and moving to a final vote.

Capito has shared opposition to the proposal, describing the measure as federal overreach. Manchin has pushed for a bipartisan bill on election-related issues; he and Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski sent a letter to congressional leaders last week favoring a reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act.

“Protecting Americans’ access to democracy has not been a partisan issue for the past 56 years, and we must not allow it to become one now,” the senators said.

West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner also opposes the For the People Act, noting concerns about how it could affect voting by overseas military members. Warner participated in a rally last December challenging the presidential election results, in which Warner was seen holding a “Stop the Steal” banner.

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