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Warner appearing before US Senate committee to discuss voting


CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner will testify before the U.S. Senate Rules and Administration Committee on Wednesday regarding West Virginia’s handling of the 2020 election cycle amid the pandemic and issues related to voting access.

Warner will be one of five witnesses to speak on voting as the committee begins considering the For the People Act, which is legislation aimed at increasing voter access and improving election security.

The legislation creates automatic voter registration across the country, expands voting by mail and supports maintaining early voting periods. The measure also addresses state efforts to limit voters, such as purging voter rolls and passing voter ID laws that restrict participation.

The House of Representatives passed its version of the measure earlier this month; West Virginia Reps. David McKinley, Alex Mooney and Carol Miller were among the 210 legislators who opposed the bill.

Warner is also against the bill, saying during Monday’s “MetroNews Talkline” that states control the election process.

“That’s what the Constitution of the United States says,” he said. “The time, manner and place of elections will be left to state legislatures. My job has been to vigorously follow the law that the Legislature has put into place.”

Warner also spoke out against provisions of the bill, noting the complications of same-day voting registration. He also said West Virginia county clerks oppose the measure, noting the thousands of West Virginia voters removed from voter roles during his first term because they were dead, felons or former West Virginia residents.

“They certainly don’t want to see that effort go to wait by this federal legislation coming in and telling them what they can and can’t do,” he said.

Former U.S. Attorney Eric Holder, Michigan Secretary of State Joceyln Benson, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita and Brennan Center for Justice President Michael Waldman are also set to participate in the hearing. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., is a member of the Senate Rules Committee.