Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania are pushing their own version of election security bills that have led to massive controversy in other states, but the legislation is unlikely to become law with Democratic Governor Tom Wolf fiercely opposed.
The bill, unveiled on Friday, is the result of months of hearings held by Republican lawmakers following a controversial 2020 election in which many Republicans criticized measures taken by states to hold elections during the pandemic as prone to fraud. There was no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, but many GOP-controlled legislatures across the country have taken what they say are proactive steps to ensure the elections run more efficiently in the future.
“This responsible bill encompasses all aspects of the issues brought before the committee and will propel Pennsylvania’s election into the 21st century, while correcting fatal flaws and electoral security issues,” said State Representative Seth. Grove, a Republican who is the main sponsor of the bill. , mentionned.
“This legislation is nothing less than a true reflection of the product of those hearings; concerns raised by local election officials, statewide election administrators and citizens across Pennsylvania; as well; that legislative concepts have been bipartisanly supported by the House of Representatives in the past, ”added Representative Kerry Benninghoff, House Majority Leader of Pennsylvania.
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The law allows voters to return ballots by mail, in person to county election boards, or to drop off boxes that must be watched by election officials. It will also ban permanent postal voting lists, requiring voters to request one postal ballot for every election they wish to vote this way.
The bill would also establish an “Office of Election Audits” to “conduct confirmation audits of the results of every election in the Commonwealth, completed by the third Friday following the election.”
Perhaps one of the most controversial changes, however, is the requirement that people present identification each time they vote rather than the first time they vote at a particular polling station. This will add a requirement for voters at every election, but the law expands what counts as a valid form of identification. Voters who do not have ID with them can also sign an affidavit.
Republicans hold a majority in the House and Senate in Pennsylvania. But a law passed by both chambers is highly unlikely to overtake Wolf, who made it clear earlier this week that he would oppose any election law backed by the GOP.
“Today I reaffirm my commitment to the people of this Commonwealth that I will always uphold our democracy. I will defend your freedom to vote, and I will not allow bad actors to erect obstacles to the vote,” Wolf said on Wednesday. . “Not only will I oppose any effort to roll back our freedoms, but I will continue to press for changes to be made to remove the barriers that still exist.”
Wolf’s administration did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment asking its reaction to the reforms. Neither has the Pennsylvania Democrats’ campaign arm. But the official House Democrats Twitter account presented the GOP-backed bill ominously.
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“The Republican attack on your franchise is here,” Pennsylvania Democrats said in reaction to the bill’s announcement Friday. Pennsylvania House Minority Leader Jonna McClinton criticized the GOP proposal in an interview with KDKA.
“We don’t need a Bureau of Election Audits. One of the things I expect my colleagues across the aisle to do is put an end to the big lie, which reeked of so much terror. and havoc and a deadly attack on our US Capitol, “McClinton told KDKA.
The nearly 150-page GOP bill also contains a long list of other provisions, including a voters’ bill of rights.
These rights include the exact count of votes; the right to assistance in voting; the right to replacement ballots in the event of voter error; the right to vote if the voter is online when the polling stations close; and more.
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