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Warner voices opposition to federal voting bill


CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia’s secretary of state is against a federal bill aimed at increasing voter access and registration, arguing the legislation gives the federal government unwarranted authority over elections.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the For the People Act on March 3 in a 220-210 vote; Republicans — including West Virginia Reps. David McKinley, Alex Mooney and Carol Miller — opposed the bill.

West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner said states are the proper places to determine how to handle elections.

“In the Constitution, it clearly states that the time, manner and place for these elections is to be done by the state Legislature,” he said last week on “MetroNews Talkline.”

The legislation includes provisions supporting states improving election security, expanding voter registration and backing various voting methods, including mail-in ballots. The measure also limits state efforts to remove voters from rolls.

The West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office has worked with county clerks to remove registration information from dead voters, felons and former West Virginia residents.

“Mandating things such as universal mail-in voting, ballot harvesting and drop boxes and those sorts of things gets into the nuances that I think are better left to the states,” Warner added. “We’ve done a wonderful job, especially here in West Virginia.”

The House of Representatives’ bill comes after an election season in which former President Donald Trump and Republican allies claimed — without evidence — that voter fraud in multiple states affected the election results.

Warner participated in a “March for Trump” rally in December, in which he held up a “Stop the Steal” sign. He additionally voiced support for a legal challenge to election results in states President Joe Biden won, which the U.S. Supreme Court rejected.

Warner spoke favorably of state legislative proposals on voting during his “MetroNews Talkline” appearance, noting one measure to move the 10-day early voting period up four days.