CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Advocates continue their fight for voting reform after the U.S. Senate blocked democrats’ attempt to pass the For the People Act. The bill failed to get the 60 votes it needed to succeed.
Senate Democrats pitched the legislation to counter efforts by the republican-led legislatures to pass state laws that would impose restrictions on voting swiftly.
Tuesday, the Senate struck down the For the People voting reform bill that would help clean up dark money in elections and ensure citizens’ access to the polls. Advocates are mostly disappointed by the senate not deliberating on the bill.
“If there’s true bipartisanship, then at least you just want to hear what the other side has to say, but if you automatically vote like they voted to block it and say ‘no, we’re not even going to have any discussion,’ what does that say? What are you hiding,” Natalie Tennant, Former WV Secretary of State, said.
“A lot of it has to do with the pure partisanship and schism of politics that we have today that people tend to think what’s good for Republicans is bad for Democrats and the reverse,” Rick Staton, Former House Majority Leader for House of Delegates said.
All 50 Senate Republicans opposed the bill, saying it was a power grab and federal overreach into state voting and election systems.
“People saying how do you do audits and these ballots are counted, that’s addressed in this bill. Then we have an attack on our democracy in the form of the insurgency at the U.S. Capitol, so all of these things are building up to it, and now we have some states that are making it harder to vote even though we said we had the best election in 2020,” Tennant said.
Staton says people need to look to local leaders for change.
“Everybody is looking at the original proposal and what they need to look at is the efforts of Sen. Manchin the past few days. He has proposed compromises that has piqued the interest of many republicans,” Staton said.
Advocates say this is not the end but just the beginning of voting reform.