WASHINGTON, D.C. — The West Virginia state Senate passed an elections bill on Wednesday that would severely limit voting and registration options in the state. The bill, Senate Bill 565, passed 29-5 without floor debate, with five Democrats voting against it.
S.B. 565 revokes a previous automatic voter registration law, passed in 2016, that had not yet taken effect. It also shifts the 10-day early voting window to a few days earlier, cutting out one Saturday currently available for voters who may not be able to leave work to vote. The bill also moves up the absentee ballot request deadline by five days and allows any voter who has not voted in the last two years to be purged from the rolls.
Mac Warner, the West Virginia secretary of state, requested the absentee ballot deadline be moved up, blaming slow processing times by the U.S. Postal Service. Warner testified in Congress on Wednesday against the For the People Act and had attended a “Stop the Steal” rally in November.
The bill now moves to the House of Delegates for consideration.