Pa. House Republicans unveil massive election overhaul, Democrats call it voter suppression

Pennsylvania Politics

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — House Republicans released a massive election overhaul today. They say it expands access and makes elections safer. Democrats are calling it voter suppression.

What does an election overhaul look like? In this case, 149 pages. That’s the length of State Rep. Seth Grove’s (R) bill with two main goals. “Easy to vote. Hard to cheat,” Grove said.

The bill would allow five days of pre-canvassing for mail-in ballots which counties have been screaming for. There would be drop boxes for those mail-ins with restrictions. “We make sure they’re emptied per night and have poll workers there,” Grove said.

Undated mail-in? Unsigned? Counties would be able to call voters. “They can contact those voters and have them come in and cure those ballots moving forward,” Grove said. He’d also give more money to counties to run elections and cut down on wait times. “We want lines down to 30 minutes,” Grove said.

He’d also require voter ID and increase the types of acceptable ID and make them free. “It’s a verification process to make sure you are who you say you are when you show up to vote,” Grove said.

“Efforts to make it more difficult to cast a vote are in fact voter suppression,” State Senator Sharif Street (D) said. Democrats complain Grove didn’t include them in crafting the bill. The Governor promised to veto stricter voter ID. “I will stand up to our freedoms to vote,” Governor Wolf said.

Grove argues there’s no suppression because if all else fails, voters can use provisional ballots. No questions asked. But the big question is, will lawmakers let pre-canvassing, which everybody wants, pass without more controversial components?

“Doing one thing doesn’t fix anything else, we need to make sure. The entire process from beginning to end. All or nothing,” Grove said.

We’re also told this massive election overhaul could be voted in the house next week.

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