Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed Wednesday a Republican rewrite of Pennsylvania’s Election Code which would demand stricter voter ID requirements. “This bill is ultimately not about improving access to voting or election security, but about restricting the freedom to vote,” Wolf said in a statement.
“If adopted, it would threaten to disrupt election administration, undermine faith in government, and invite costly, time-consuming, and destabilizing litigation,” The Democratic Governor said.
As reported by spotlightpa.org, besides requiring voters to show ID during every election, the bill would have created early voting, instituted new security rules for drop boxes, and allowed voters to fix mail ballots with missing signatures.
And while GOP lawmakers said the bill provided extra security measures and more access, Wolf considers that this would create new barriers for voters.
“This bill is ultimately not about improving access to voting or election security, but about restricting the freedom to vote,” Wolf said in a statement. “If adopted, it would threaten to disrupt election administration, undermine faith in government, and invite costly, time-consuming, and destabilizing litigation.”
The governor’s rejection of House Bill 1300 was expected, but it dealt a blow to county election officials caught in the partisan battle of voting reforms.
They’ve been asking for two specific provisions: the ability to process mail ballots ahead of Election Day, and moving up the deadline to request a mail ballot. Passing those two measures, officials said, will fix a majority of the issues that arose last November.
Rep. Seth Grove, a York County Republican who wrote the bill, said it would restore confidence in elections through enhanced security measures such as requiring voters to present an ID each time they vote, as opposed to only when they vote at a new polling site, as is currently law, requiring bipartisan teams to check the IDs of people returning ballots at drop boxes, and requiring ballot-scanning machines to have signature verification capabilities.
Meanwhile, Democrats said the bill was a product of Republicans’ refusal to accept the results of the Nov. 3 presidential contest and a solution in search of a problem. There was no widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election, and multiple government officials and audits confirmed the accuracy of the votes.