A GOP-backed election reform bill introduced in Pennsylvania would require ID for all voters, allow early votes to be counted seven days before an election, and provide other reforms to fix voting problems identified by a series of hearings in the state legislature — but Governor Tom Wolf (D) is already vowing to stop the bill at any cost.
According to The Epoch Times, the bill aims to fix problems identified during the 2020 presidential race, which included last-minute changes from Wolf and state judges that allowed ballots received after the election to be counted, even without a postmark to show it was mailed on Election Day.
“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,” chief sponsor of the bill and state Rep. Seth Grove (R) said, as The Epoch Times reported.
Do Dems want to fix voting problems?
In a tweet, Grove outlined some of the main provisions of the bill, including protections for senior voters and disabled voters, curbside voting, and supervision for voting in long-term care facilities.
Pennsylvania Voting Rights Protection Act
✅ Voter’s Bill of Rights
✅ Senior Citizens Voter’s Bills of Rights
✅ Disabled Voter’s Bill of Rights
✅ Curbside Voting
✅ ADA Accessible Voting Machine Standards
✅ Supervised voting for long-term care residents pic.twitter.com/u3sgSlKGB1
— Rep. Seth Grove (@RepGrove) June 11, 2021
The bill contains ideas from both parties, The Epoch Times notes, and makes voting easier in some ways, but also more secure.
According to Fox News, Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R) said the bill contains “legislative concepts supported in a bipartisan fashion by the House of Representatives in the past,” but it remains to be seen whether it will get bipartisan support in the current highly charged political environment around voting.
Gov. Wolf does not support the bill, and has vowed to fight it. He said on Wednesday: “The same lies that led to the assault on the U.S. Capitol are fueling efforts to silence voters across the nation. I will not let this happen in Pennsylvania.”
PA: The next battleground in vote fight
Democrats, for their part, have politicized voting bills in Florida, Georgia, Texas, and Arizona, calling them “racist” for requiring identification before voting as well as other safeguards.
President Joe Biden even went so far as to call the Georgia law a new form of “Jim Crow.”
Polls show that even a majority of Democrats and minority voters favor requiring ID to cast your ballot, however.
According to The Epoch Times, Pennsylvania’s legislature is majority Republican in both chambers, but does not have a veto-proof majority in either one, so the bill is likely to fail if it can’t get enough bipartisan support.