This week’s decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upholding Act 77 which legalized no-excuse absentee voting in the Keystone State is spurring Republican lawmakers to renew their push for election reform.
A Republican-led legislature passed and Democratic Governor Tom Wolf signed Act 77 three years ago. Moderate Democratic Senator Lisa Boscola (D-Bethlehem) initially drafted the bill to get rid of straight-party voting, a policy on which Republican legislators largely agreed with her. More Democrats came around to support the measure once a section was added allowing voters to cast mail-in ballots without providing a reason they could not come to the polls (i.e., illness, injury or travel).
Pennsylvania House State Government Committee Chairman Seth Grove (R-York) released a report Tuesday detailing “a myriad of election issues” in the Keystone State.
Speaking to reporters at the Capitol Building, Grove reviewed his findings, including inconsistent vote-counting rules, ballot harvesting, fraud and administrative errors. The new report is the third he has issued concerning election problems since November 2020.
A set of amendments to the Pennsylvania Constitution, including a voter-identification requirement, passed the state House of Representatives this week on nearly party-line votes.
To become part of the state Constitution, the proposed amendments must pass in two consecutive sessions of the Pennsylvania General Assembly and must gain approval by a majority of voters in an election. State House members voted on these measures as amendments to a Senate bill that would let gubernatorial candidates select their own running mates, whereas current law lets Pennsylvanians vote to elect nominees for lieutenant governor.