Reader praises the ‘For the People Act’

With all due respect to our current Secretary of State, opposition to Senate Bill 1, the “For the People Act,” is a bit of a tempest in a teapot.

The “For the People Act” is carefully thought-out, comprehensive legislation, designed to create clear guidelines and rules for elections and eliminate some of the corruption that has creeped into campaigns in recent years. Its provisions will strengthen our democracy, not weaken it.

No piece of legislation is perfect, but S. 1 is sound. Recent expressions of concern about the bill, including from our hard-working and diligent county clerks here in West Virginia, have resulted in potential amendment improvements to S. 1, contrary to what has been suggested.

For example, proposed amendments to the bill would give more flexibility for states to make changes to their election systems and machines, based on new federal guidelines just released. Funding to support states’ electoral systems will make processes more affordable and standardized, so that no matter where Americans are in the U.S. or abroad, they can vote secure in the knowledge that their votes will count.

One particular change gives states until 2026 to set up a system for voter verified paper ballots, with the option to file for a waiver to delay implementation of this guideline until 2030. A bipartisan amendment from Senator Shelley Moore Capito, too, removes paper ballot requirements for some voters with disabilities, and for voters in the military and/or overseas. I have not yet had the opportunity to reach out to Senators Capito and Manchin on this but am hopeful that ultimately they will see the wisdom in moving S. 1 forward and will vote in favor.

I’ve examined the bill (available online at https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-bill/1), and I support the “For the People Act.” I hope others who aren’t quite sure about it will read it themselves and make up their own minds – it’s a way to get special interests out of elections, and get all eligible voters across the country to the polls securely.

Deborah Stiles

St. George


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