WASHINGTON (AP) — A key Democratic senator says he will not vote for the largest overhaul of U.S. election law in at least a generation, defying his party and the White House and virtually guaranteeing the failure of the legislation after a near party-line approval in the House.
“Voting and election reform that is done in a partisan manner will all but ensure partisan divisions continue to deepen,″ Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia wrote in a home-state newspaper, the Charleston Gazette-Mail.
He said that failure to bring together both parties on voting legislation would “risk further dividing and destroying the republic we swore to protect and defend as elected officials.”
The bill would restrict partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts, strike down hurdles to voting and bring transparency to a murky campaign finance system that allows donors to anonymously bankroll political causes. Among dozens of other provisions, it would require states to offer 15 days of early voting and allow no-excuse absentee balloting.