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Locals still vocal about the Freedom to Vote Act after Senate Republicans blocked the bill

Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 7:08 PM EDT
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FAIRMONT, W.Va (WDTV) - A month after a bill proposal from Senate Democrats, the vote from the senate is in. Senate Republicans have blocked a bill that Senator Joe Manchin worked at the forefront of, known as the Freedom to Vote Act. It stems from the For the People Act and this election bill has many goals. The main factor being to make voting less challenging in minority communities and rural areas as well as for elders and those in the military.

Senator Shelley Moore Capito weighed in late Wednesday afternoon saying qutote, “I continue to oppose this flawed bill because it still fundamentally federalizes our elections. Despite the changes proposed, this bill would still strip states of their authority to run their elections as needed by their unique constituencies.”

However, many West Virginians, including Marion County resident Stephanie Tomana, said despite the outcome, it’s something to continue to stand behind.

“We’ve been voting in the same precinct my entire life, but across the country that’s not the case,” Tomana said. “We have so much differentiation between who’s allowed to vote, who’s not allowed to vote, even how long you have to wait to vote, and this bill is very important because it standardizes all of that.”

Others joined Tomana in a rally that started in Charleston and is headed toward D.C.

All in hope of spreading the message Democrats have been trying to get across; make voting easier. This message spreading nationwide after many leaders say there are new restrictions on voting being seen through laws being passed in multiple states.

“We’re going to see if Democrats and Republicans can come together over common sense reforms that really takes what we have in West Virginia and just makes sure a future legislature, or a future governor can’t take away those rights,” Delegate (D) Joey Garcia of Marion County 50 said.

Which is why local officials are joining communities in sharing their message with the chance of getting Republican leaders, like Senator Shelley Moore Capito, eventually on board.

“The most important pillar in our society is voting and everyone should enjoy the same liberties,” Tomana said.

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