West Virginia election officials are lobbying Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin to oppose his party’s voting-rights legislation, again underscoring his pivotal role as the Senate’s most prominent centrist.
Mr. Manchin is the only senator on the Democratic side of the chamber who isn’t listed as a co-sponsor of the legislation. Last week he told reporters he was still reviewing it. All 49 other Senate Democrats back the bill, which would loosen state voter-identification requirements, expand mail-in voting and mandate online and same-day voter registration as well as early voting, among other steps.
The top West Virginia election official, Republican Mac Warner, is headed to Washington to testify before the Senate Rules Committee on Wednesday about the legislation, and at least one member of Mr. Manchin’s staff was on a call with state and county officials Monday. Mr. Manchin’s office didn’t respond to requests for comment.
The voting-rights fight in the 50-50 Senate again puts the spotlight on Mr. Manchin, whose objections forced changes to unemployment payments in the recent coronavirus aid law. He also has opposed the $15 an hour minimum wage backed by many Democrats, saying a lower number would be better.