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Youth political group slams West Virginia Secretary of State on voting bill

CHARLESTON — A youth political organization is encouraging passage of a voting rights and campaign finance reform bill in Congress.

Un-PAC issued a press release Wednesday upon the testimony of West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner, a Republican, testifying Wednesday against the legislation, Senate Bill 1, before the Senate’s Committee on Rules and Administration.

Warner said, among other things, the bill creates barriers to the ballot box, disenfranchises voters, could enable voter fraud and “attempts to usurp protections woven into the fabric of the United States Constitution that protect states’ rights to conduct local elections.”

“Federalizing elections has never been done before, and for good measure: it’s a constitutional duty left to the states by our founders who knew that each state has different challenges, demographics, geographic makeups, and local experts who work in the elections ecosystem on a daily basis,” Warner said.

Warner does not represent young West Virginians, Lake Young, Princeton Senior High School student and Un-PAC organizer, said.

“Our generation is tired of politicians spreading misinformation and making it harder for us to vote” Young said.

Warner sees universal voting rights “as a bad thing because it would allow for people he doesn’t like to vote,” David Crawley, Marshall University grad student and Un-PAC organizer, said.

“Thankfully, he’s not the decision-maker on S1,” Crawley said. “Young people across the state are asking Sen. Joe Manchin to stand with us and pass this bill.”

The legislation is generally opposed on party lines with Republicans opposed and Democrats in favor. A similar bill passed the House of Representatives 220-210 on March 3 on party lines with Republicans Dave McKinley, Alex Mooney and Carol Miller voting against.

Warner was introduced to the committee by Sen. Shelley Capito, R-W.Va., a member of the Rules and Administration Committee.

“We’re talking about accessibility to voting and this eliminates our military out of our country and certain folks with disabilities in our state to be able to vote at the most convenient and technology-tested way,” she said.

Un-PAC and Our Future West Virginia, another group in support of the voting rights bill, have a presence at West Virginia University, Marshall University, West Virginia State University, Concord University, West Virginia Wesleyan College and in high schools.

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