HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Should Pennsylvania get rid of ballot drop boxes? There’s an effort to do that in the Republican-led state legislature.
On Wednesday the state Senate passed a bill to do just that along party lines with a vote of 29 to 20.
Democrats say it would disenfranchise voters.
The passage of the bill, applauded by Republicans would make it so mail-in ballots that are not returned in the mail must be hand-delivered to an employee at the county board of elections office.
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“We showed during the hearings that the drop boxes can’t be secure,” said Sen. Cris Dush.
Dush penned the bill and pointed to a video from Lehigh County as proof of people *illegally submitting multiple ballots at a time.
“The video that was reviewed there 288 Extra ballots that were in the box with no designated authorization forms or anything else associated with them,” Dush said.
Dush argues Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court, which allowed dropboxes, overstepped its bounds.
“We’ve got a problem with a lack of confidence on the part of the people got a problem with something that can definitely be utilized to do ballot stuffing. This is a legitimate issue,” Dush said.
Democratic state Sen. Sharif Street says this is a non-issue.
“This seems like people were trying to, they have they’ve come up with a solution. Now they’re trying to find a problem to fit their solution,” Street said.
He’s worried the bill would make it more difficult for people to vote.
“If you mail it on time and it’s time-stamped, but it doesn’t arrive by 8:00 on election day, your vote’s not counted so this could result in massive disenfranchisement for people,” Street said.
Dush says if you’re responsible, you should have plenty of time to get it in early.
“The closest dropbox anybody has is right outside the door, on the wall or at the end of the sidewalk or at the end of their driveway,” Dush said.
“I am confident that this is the kind of legislation that the governor after thoroughly viewing it will realize should never become law in Pennsylvania,” Street said.
While she didn’t outright say he would veto the bill, a spokesperson for governor wolf says he rejects the claims that drop boxes are not secure or encourage fraud.
The bill now heads to the state House.