Powerful Pa. lawmaker says pre-canvassing is done until Governor Wolf is gone

Pennsylvania Politics

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The folks who run elections across the state say they need pre-canvassing to make the job easier and results faster. But a powerful State Rep. says that’s not coming until Governor Wolf is gone.

Election officials in every county across the state have begged for pre-canvassing, letting them open, sort, but not count mail-in ballots ahead of election day. When can they count on that?

“When we get a new Governor. Unfortunately, Governor Wolf has not engaged with us at all,” State Rep. and Chair of the State Government Committee, Seth Grove (R) said. Grove authored an election overhaul bill with five days of pre-canvassing but lots of other stuff too like voter ID. Governor Wolf vetoed it.

“All the other stuff Seth wants to throw into the bill does not make sense to me. So if that’s the price of getting something I want, it’s too high a price,” Gov. Wolf said.

But counties will now pay the price and be unable to begin processing mail-in ballots until 7 a.m. on election day. If Grove is right, that will be the case until 2023 when Wolf is gone.

But can’t Lawmakers just pass a pre-canvassing bill to fix what everyone agrees is a problem? “Our members want substantial changes in how we administer elections. The general public wants changes in how we administer elections,” Rep. Grove said.

But it’s counties that actually administer elections and they are furious that lawmakers in a snit are failing to make what seems a simple fix. He wonders why counties weren’t more enthusiastic cheerleaders of his bill. “I have never seen an organization that got everything they and wanted and said ‘ah we’ll pass’ I’ve never seen that,” Rep. Grove said.

“Part of this is Wolf not coming to the table and part of it is the counties not being their own best advocate,” Rep. Grove said.

Counties are warning that without pre-canvassing election results could take days.

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