Heated exchange concludes Pa. House hearings on election reform

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The State House wrapped up its months-long look into the good, the bad and the ugly of Pennsylvania elections. In Thursday’s closing moments, things got heated.

The tenth and final hearing looking at election reforms in Pa. One testifier said voters don’t want to re-litigate the last election, but rather fix things for the future.

“They believe it should be easy to vote but hard to cheat,” said Jonathan Bechtle, of Opportunity Solutions Project.

Some say Pa. needs to open up and make it even easier to vote.

“Pennsylvania should allow ballots mailed by election day to be counted up to seven days after Election Day the same deadline used for military and overseas voters,” said Khalif Ali, executive director of Common Cause Pa.

Scott Walter says Pa. was too loose in letting Mark Zuckerberg’s non-profit contribute to local elections with strings attached.

“Personally, I don’t want donors or non-profits anywhere on the political spectrum manipulating elections through gifts to government offices,” said Scott Walter, of Capital Research Center.

Mail-in ballot security is an issue.

Rep. Doyle Heffley (R-Carbon) pushed for a new way for residents to validate their voter ID.

“We need to come up with a common sense form of voter ID [where we] take away the signature match, we have no voter ID at all, it’s very concerning,” Heffley said.

So are legitimate mail-ins with minor mistakes.

“If there’s an issue with a signature or with an envelope that there’s a process by which, in every single county, they can cure that,” Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia) said.

Some Democrats say there’s no cure for Republicans trying to suppress them.

“It was just a mockery of our Democratic process and a cynical ploy to restrict the voting rights of Pennsylvania,” Rep. Margo Davidson (D-Delaware) said. “And it is shameful.”

Rep. Seth Grove (R), chairman of the State Government Committee, shared his thoughts on it, too.

“It’s a real shame because we have a real opportunity to advance election laws, but unfortunate,” Grove said.

So after 40 hours of election testimony, does the Republican chair believe Joe Biden won Pa. fair and square?

“I personally never doubted Joe Biden or the outcome of the election,” Grove said.

Grove expects election legislation to begin moving in late May, early June.

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