REPORT: Manchin’s H.R. 1/S. 1 Bill Threatens West Virginia’s Absentee Ballot System

Published On: September 14th, 2021

15 Other States Mirror WV’s System

(Alexandria, VA)– September 14, 2021: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) today released a research brief detailing mail balloting return figures for the 2020 General Election in West Virginia. For the 2020 General Election, the state maintained the traditionally required excuse-based absentee system. Unlike in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and others, West Virginia’s undeliverable and “status unknown” ballots did not exceed any statewide difference in winning an election contest last year.

According to federal data compilations:

2020 Election in West Virginia:

-150,202 absentee (mail) ballots sent to voters

-33 undeliverable

-254 returned by voters but rejected by election officials

-6,135 “unknown” – election officials don’t know what happened to them

In Senator Joe Manchin’s latest bid to revive H.R. 1/S. 1, his home state’s clearly functioning system will be outlawed by federal statute. The bill prohibits states from maintaining an excuse-based system. Under the new S. 1, Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Tennessee, Texas, South Carolina, and West Virginia will see their absentee systems outlawed.

“H.R. 1 and S. 1 cancel good election systems in West Virginia and other states,” said PILF President J. Christian Adams. “Manchin’s compromises hurt West Virginia. West Virginians demand good government and do not wish to see the instruments which are used to select their leaders increasingly go unaccounted-for. West Virginia’s elections are already thoroughly supervised on the community level and the business of counting ballots tends to end on election night without incident. In this political climate, you can’t ask for anything better.”

Access the full research brief, here.

Public Interest Legal Foundation