One of the nation’s leading seniors’ organizations is appealing to Senator Joe Manchin to support changes to the filibuster in order to protect older Americans’ voting rights. In a letter to Senator Manchin co-signed by some 40 advocates and political influencers, NCPSSM President and CEO Max Richtman writes that adjusting the Senate filibuster is the only way to safeguard ballot access for seniors if enough Republican Senators won’t support new federal voting rights legislation. Such legislation is necessary, says Richtman, because of restrictive, new state laws that infringe on seniors’ right to vote by mail.
The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, with millions of members and supporters nationwide (including nearly 12,000 in West Virginia), supported Senator Manchin’s re-election campaign in 2018.
“We urge you to support a narrow change to the filibuster rule to allow the Senate to approve new voting rights legislation by a simple majority vote. This crucial legislation will help to protect our democracy and the right to vote for all Americans, including older West Virginians who cast ballots by mail,” says Max Richtman, President and CEO, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
Fourteen states have enacted laws restricting ballot access. The West Virginia State Senate has approved a bill which would move up the deadline for requesting an absentee ballot from six days before Election Day to 11 days. New federal legislation would prevent states from passing onerous laws making it harder for seniors and other vulnerable groups to vote.
“The sole purpose of restrictive, new state laws is to suppress votes that the majority party in these legislatures don’t like. We urge Senator Manchin to protect American voters from being disenfranchised — including millions of seniors who otherwise can’t safely make it to the polls. If it becomes clear that adjusting the filibuster is the only option to guarantee voting rights, we hope the Senator will reconsider his position,” says Richtman.
Currently, Seniors who are immobile, sick, or don’t want to risk being infected by the delta COVID variant can request mail ballots — along with those who cannot drive or lack access to mass transit. Voting by mail allows these older citizens to exercise their constitutional rights in a safe, convenient way. In 2020, the majority of voters over age 65 cast their ballots by mail. Multiple studies have shown vote-by-mail to be consistently free of fraud.
Read our letter to Senator Manchin here.
The National Committee, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization acts in the interests of its membership through advocacy, education, services, grassroots efforts and the leadership of the Board of Directors and professional staff. The work of the National Committee is directed toward developing better-informed citizens and voters.
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