Pennsylvania election reform bill mandates voter ID but faces stern opposition

Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania are pushing their very own model of sweeping election safety payments that led to huge controversy in different states, but the legislation is unlikely to turn into regulation with Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf staunchly opposed.

The bill, unveiled Friday, is the results of months of hearings held by Republican legislators within the wake of a contentious 2020 election during which many Republicans criticized measures states took to carry elections through the pandemic as liable to fraud. There’s been no proof of widespread fraud within the 2020 election, but many GOP-controlled legislatures across the nation have taken what they are saying are proactive steps to make sure elections are run extra effectively sooner or later. 

“This responsible bill includes all aspects of issues brought before the committee and will propel Pennsylvania’s election into the 21st century, all while fixing fatal flaws and election security issues,” state Rep. Seth Grove, a Republican who’s the chief sponsor of the bill, stated. 

“This legislation is nothing short of an accurate reflection of the product of those hearings; concerns raised by local elections officials, statewide election administrators and citizens from across Pennsylvania; as well as legislative concepts supported in a bipartisan fashion by the House of Representatives in the past,” Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, the Pennsylvania House majority chief, added. 


The regulation permits for voters to return mail ballots by way of mail, in-person to county boards of elections, or to drop bins which can be required to be monitored by election officers. It may also ban everlasting mail-in voting lists, requiring voters to request a mail poll for every election they want to vote that means. 

The bill would additionally set up a “Bureau of Election Audits” to “conduct result-confirming audits of each election in the Commonwealth, completed by the third Friday following the election.” 

Likely to be one of the vital contentious modifications, nonetheless, is a requirement that folks current voter ID every time they vote somewhat than simply the primary time they vote at a selected polling place. This will add a requirement for voters in every election, but the regulation expands what counts as a sound type of identification. Voters who would not have an ID on them may signal an affidavit. 

Republicans maintain majorities in each the House and Senate in Pennsylvania. But any regulation handed by the 2 chambers could be very unlikely to get previous Wolf, who earlier this week made clear would oppose any GOP-backed election regulation. 

“Today, I reaffirm my commitment to the people of this commonwealth that I will always uphold our democracy. I will stand up for your freedom to vote, and I will not allow bad actors to put up barriers to voting,” Wolf stated Wednesday. “Not only will I stand against any efforts to roll back our freedoms, I will continue to push for changes to take down the barriers that still exist.”

Wolf’s administration didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark from Fox News asking for his response to the reforms. Neither did the Pennsylvania House Democrats’ marketing campaign arm. But the House Democrats’ official Twitter account framed the GOP-backed bill ominously. 


“The Republican attack on your right to vote is here,” Pennsylvania House Democrats stated in response to the Friday announcement of the bill. Pennsylvania House Minority Leader Jonna McClinton slammed the GOP proposal in an interview with KDKA

“We do not need a Bureau of Election Audits. One of the things I’m waiting for my colleagues across the aisle to do is end the big lie, which reeked so much terror and havoc and a deadly attack on our United States Capitol,” McClinton instructed KDKA.

The GOP bill, which is almost 150 pages lengthy, additionally has an extended record of different provisions, together with a voter’s bill of rights. 

Among these rights are to have votes precisely counted; the suitable to voting help; the suitable to alternative ballots if the voter makes a mistake; the suitable to case a vote if the voter is in line by the point polls shut; and extra. 

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