In an op-ed published early Sunday morning in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, Manchin, one of the Democratic caucus’s most conservative members, zeroed in on the partisan nature of the legislation, which has not attracted any Republican support.
“I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening blinds of our democracy, and for that reason, I will vote against the For The People Act,” Manchin wrote.
“The truth, I would argue, is that voting and election reform that is done in a partisan manner will all but ensure partisan divisions continue to deepen,” he added.
Manchin also said he “will not vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster,” which a number of leading Democrats have suggested in order to pass election reform.
He said he will “seek bipartisan compromise no matter how difficult and to develop the political bonds that end divisions and help unite the country we love.”
The House in March passed The For The People Act in a 220 to 210 vote. No House Republicans supported the measure, and one Democrat voted against the legislation.
The bill would require states to offer mail-in ballots, a minimum of 15 days of early voting and online and same-day voter registration. Additionally, it calls for the creation of independent commissions to draw congressional districts in an effort to put an end to partisan gerrymandering.
It would also provide additional resources to stave off foreign threats on elections, enable automatic voter registration, and would make Election Day a national holiday for federal workers.
The conversation surrounding election reform in Congress has increased in recent weeks, after a number of GOP-led state legislatures have passed restricting voting reform bills.