As Americans, we know that the foundation of every right given to us in the constitution is our right to vote, but recently that right has come under attack. We need to understand that while the right to vote can be denied to any citizen, it can be denied to all citizens including you and me. Thank goodness we have Joe Manchin in our corner.
Senator Manchin has always been a fighter for the voices of West Virginia. Look no further than his nearly 40 years in public service as Secretary of State, Governor and Senator of the United States to make our State and our country a better place.
Senator Manchin was instrumental in expanding and strengthening our voting rights in West Virginia during his tenure as Secretary of State. His advocacy for every West Virginia when he helped modernize our voter registration systems, vote early, and ensure voter registration at the DMV. Senator Manchin’s support for democracy and the right to vote is unwavering.
During the recent Senate debate on the For the People Act, Senator Manchin showed us exactly where he stands to secure our elections and rid our partisan politics of black money once and for all. He has always led on these issues and is a leader now when he voted to move forward with the debate on these issues and his work to iron out a compromise. We need his continued leadership to get a strong bill that protects our democracy and clamps down on corruption.
Many of the policies Manchin proposed would enact safe and sensible voting reforms that are very popular among the American public, including West Virginia. Manchin shines a light on electoral protections he himself adopted as Secretary of State for West Virginia, like postal voting and early voting, as well as streamlining the voter registration process.
The Senior Senator from West Virginia understands the importance of increasing voter turnout and ensuring that every voter has the opportunity to vote legally. He is also a good and honest leader, understanding that American citizens should control who is elected to represent them – not the dark special interest groups and undisclosed political donors of our nation’s wealthiest zip codes. He made it clear that we need to tackle corruption and black money in our political system by implementing key campaign finance and anti-corruption ethics reforms. The legislation would oblige political groups to disclose their biggest donors, creating more transparency and limiting the power of special interest spenders.
Manchin is to be credited with addressing this important issue and focusing on empowering the people. Under his leadership as governor, he enacted a bill establishing regulations for black money groups, making West Virginia one of the first states in the country to do so.
Senator Manchin’s actions speak for themselves. His commitment to voting rights and fighting corruption in West Virginia is unprecedented. I have no doubt that he will continue to defend the sacred right of all Americans to vote without being disturbed by vested interests or unnecessary voting restrictions. I know he is working tirelessly to reach agreement on the legislation. It is crucial that he passes this comprehensive anti-corruption legislation to strengthen his legacy as the leader of West Virginia as well as the guardian of American democracy.
–Billy Wayne Bailey was the assistant secretary of the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance and a former member of the West Virginia Senate.