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Citizens’ right to vote is not a partisan issue

Congress is now debating the For the People Act, which passed in the House (H.R.1) and is now underway in the Senate (S.1).

The bill aims at protecting the right to vote and making elections more secure, transparent, accessible, democratic and free from foreign interference.

Here are some of the reasons why H.R.1/S.1 is so important:

Partisan gerrymandering of U.S. Congressional seats is destroying majority rule. H.R.1/S.1 would put independent commissions in charge of redrawing US Congressional districts. Such commissions already operate in Arizona and California.

Mega-donor funding for political candidates without public disclosure has grown increasingly problematic. In the past couple of election cycles more “dark money” went to Democratic than to Republican candidates. H.R.1/S.1 would bring all such contributions to any party public information.

H.R.1/S.1 allows same-day/election-day voter registration. Twenty-one states already permit this. Automatic voter registration (AVR), another provision in H.R.1/S.1, has been adopted here in West Virginia, as well as in Alaska, Georgia and Illinois.

H.R.1/S.1 allows no-excuse absentee voting. Twenty-nine states already do this, including Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, and several other Republican-majority states.

Unfortunately, legislators have introduced hundreds of bills aimed at suppressing the votes of those they fear will support the other party. Therefore, protection of voters’ rights is a matter of urgency. The For the People Act is not “for Democrats” or “for Republicans.” It is truly an act for the people. I urge everyone to get involved and ensure this bill becomes law.

Dee Quaranto

Fairmont

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