Republicans in Pennsylvania on Thursday proposed a review of the state’s electoral system with stricter identification requirements for voters and signature of the postal ballot.
State Representative Seth Grove – the chair of the Home State Governing Committee who acts as the main person of the Republicans of the House for election legislation – introduced the Voting Rights Act House account 1300, after months of hearings by the House Government Committee.
The legislation aims to transform and improve Pennsylvania’s electoral process to restore election integrity and confidence. a statement from Grove’s office.
The bill seems to embrace ideas from both the Republican and Democratic sides and propose comprehensive measures to change the rules for elections, including:
- Allow early personal voting from 2025.
- Allow unsigned or undated ballot papers to be corrected on election day before 8pm.
- To give provinces the option to use secure mailboxes at specific locations during specific times.
- To allow ballot papers to be counted five days before an election. Current legislation allows the count to start no earlier than 07:00 on election day.
- Requires each voter to present a photo ID at the ballot box.
- Requires signature verification for postal votes.
- Eliminating the permanent voting list.
- Establishment of an Office of Electoral Audit under the office of the State Auditor General. The newly established bureau will have the power to be sued and will conduct regular election audits.
Most of the proposed rules in House Act 1300 are based on a report published on May 10 by the government committee of the state.
The report (pdf) – entitled “A Comprehensive Review of Pennsylvania’s Election Laws: How Pennsylvania Can Guarantee Rights and Integrity in Our Election System” – 25 aspects of the electoral process need to be identified that need to be improved.
The bill is intended to resolve the issues mentioned in the report. “This responsible bill contains all aspects of issues brought before the committee and will continue the election of Pennsylvania into the 21st century, while correcting fatal errors and issues regarding the security of the election,” Grove said.
Pennsylvania House Speaker Bryan Cutler is a Republican and supports the bill.
‘Home Republics have consistently paved the way for more accessible, secure[,] and accurate elections, ”he said. “Our caucus has ensured that the state has tracked the effects of our evolving election law in 2019 and 2020, and today we see the efforts being made in this important and thorough legislation by President Grove. Pennsylvania must have confidence in their election and this bill is another piece to restore public confidence. ”
The proposed bill is likely to be blocked by the Pennsylvania government, Tom Wolf, a Democrat, although Republicans control both the House and Senate in the state legislature.
Wolf suggested earlier this week that he veto any Republican election bill.
‘I will stand up for our freedom to vote. “I will not allow bad actors to set up barriers to voting in Pennsylvania,” he said. “I will not only make legislative efforts to undo the freedoms that Pennsylvania currently has, but I will continue to strive for changes that expand our access to the polls.”
Republicans may not have enough votes to dominate Wolf’s likely veto.
House Minority Leader Representative Joanna E. McClinton Tells KDKA-TV that some parts of the bill may receive dual support, but she rejected the idea of the Bureau of Election Audits.
‘We do not need an Office of Election Audits. “One of the things I am waiting for my colleagues to do is to end the great lie, which has wreaked so much terror and devastation and a deadly attack on our American Capitol,” she said.
She also criticized Republicans for cutting off Democrats during the legislative process, saying the bill would reach a deadlock with the executive.
‘The thing that makes Democrats in the House relevant is that we have a Democratic governor. “To sign a bill, it’s best for us all to work together,” McClinton said.
Wolf’s office and McClinton’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Epoch Times.