Democrats Say Solving One Election Problem in Pennsylvania Could Boost Public Confidence | State

House Minority Leader Joanna McClinton (D-Philadelphia) said at a press conference Wednesday that House Democrats have asked Republican leaders to do more to prepare county elections officials to count mail-in ballots. It called for a vote on the bill to give it time.

As Pennsylvania heads into a nation-wide election, state legislators are proposing a number of changes to state elections law aimed at improving access to voting, security and modernizing the process. .

Among the bills, Democratic state representatives said Wednesday were legislation that would lead to delays in counting mail-in ballots, which have been exploited by election deniers to call into question the integrity of Pennsylvania’s elections. This is to correct the above oversight.

Democratic lawmakers say they have time to take action to resolve the issue before the Nov. 8 election, when voters will choose Pennsylvania’s next governor and senator. But Republican lawmakers combined the legislative amendment with a clause that said Democrats would reduce voter access.

“It’s time to get smoother, more timely election results,” House Democratic Policy Committee chairman Ryan Bizarro, D-Ellie, said at a news conference Wednesday. “It is time for Pennsylvania to avoid being the subject of national news because Republican leadership in Congress is unwilling to do the right thing.”

Problems with mail-in ballot counting are just one of many concerns regarding elections in Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, voting changed when voters could vote by mail without excuses.

In addition to concerns about election integrity, uncertainty remains about what is required for mail-in ballots to be counted, whether ballot drop boxes are secure, or even permitted under the law. House State Committee Chairman Seth Grove, R-York, said Wednesday. , as a Republican-led panel held hearings on election administration.

While there is generally bipartisan support for some measures, each caucus is taking a different approach.

Republicans will take a comprehensive approach to election reform in this session, omnibus bill We will rewrite Pennsylvania’s election laws in 2021 to tighten deadlines, tighten voter verification requirements, and provide more control over how voters return their ballots.

The Globe, whose panel oversees election law, reintroduced the bill last fall after Gov. Tom Wolfe rejected it in June 2021 for objecting to voter identification requirements.

Grove said last month He doubts whether the General Assembly will pass electoral reforms before the election.

“There are so many things that need to be fixed in our electoral system. It is not true to say that one silver bullet will solve all electoral problems,” said House Majority Leader Kelly Benninghoff. Spokesperson Jason Gottesman of R-Center told Capital Star.

When Pennsylvania’s vote-by-mail ballot law, Act 77, passed in 2019, lawmakers didn’t expect county election commissions to become burdened with processing and counting tens of thousands of paper ballots. I didn’t.

The law allows county elections offices to begin opening time-consuming envelopes, and mail-in ballots are returned only after polls begin on Election Day. Since mail-in ballots were first used in his 2020, the results of each election have been more or less delayed in reporting total votes cast.

In the 2020 presidential election, problems with postal services returning ballots on time, combined with the popularity of mail-in ballots during the pandemic, led some counties to count ballots for days after the election. rice field. Former President Donald Trump seized the delay to call the results into question, using them as fodder for unsubstantiated allegations of election fraud.

D-Centre Rep. Scott Conklin said Wednesday that a self-identified “snake oil salesman” continues to exploit misinformation about voting systems, voter rolls and election procedures.He became the leader of the Republican Party in the House of Representatives bring the bill up for vote This would give counties more time to prepare vote-by-mail ballots, but he said he doubts it will ever happen.

“So all those who voted early will not have their ballots counted late,” said Conklin, a Democrat on the state government committee. why is it not running? Once that is done and the conspiracy theory is removed.”

Philadelphia Democratic Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta warned voters not to give the idea that the election reform bill was the result of a proven case of fraud.

“But I think we need to be very careful not to infer that the current elections are not secure, even when we tighten election security. I think so … sign me up for that,” said Kenyatta.

House Democrats have more than 20 election reform bills pending, based on information obtained at a meeting of the House Democratic Policy Committee. These bills are from legislation that addresses a wide range of issues raised by county elections officials, such as mail-in ballots and voters. Access to democratic elections and campaign finance reform.

Rep. Manny Guzman (D-Birks) spoke about the dysfunction of the Burks County election. There, officials objected to a federal court order that mail-in ballots returned without a dated return envelope must be counted, and county officials misrepresented Spanish-speaking voter information in the mail. It was a place. Election Day date.

“We can continue to denounce incompetence at the top…or we can work to do the elected people’s work as we all do here. is ready to get to work, and I’m asking my Republican colleagues to join me in that effort,” Guzman said.

Gottesman said the Republican caucus never believed in a piecemeal approach to election reform. That omnibus bill came after dozens of hearings about election procedures in other states and concerns raised by county officials.

“We have always believed that taking a bigger approach to our electoral system and change is the best way forward,” Gottesman said. Democrats Say Solving One Election Problem in Pennsylvania Could Boost Public Confidence | State

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