Governor Wolf denounces voting barriers ‘disguised as election reform’

Governor Tom Wolf

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Governor Tom Wolf joined Delaware County officials to denounce efforts by Harrisburg Republicans “to pass a bill disguised as election reform that is really about restricting the freedom to vote in retaliation for the outcome of the November election” on Thursday, June 17.

“When it comes to voting rights, this is a watershed moment. There are two forces in our country: those fighting to protect our democracy and those trying to undermine it,” Gov. Wolf said.

According to the governor, while the House GOP bill has some areas of potential agreement, such as giving counties more time to pre-canvass ballots before the election, increasing poll worker pay and requiring counties to use electronic poll books, the legislation still includes unacceptable barriers to silence voters.

“I will not be lectured on the importance of election integrity by the same people who wrote a letter begging Congress to throw out Pennsylvanian’s lawfully cast votes only a few months ago,” Gov. Wolf said.

Last week, the Governor discussed his opposition to efforts by politicians in the state and in the country “to spread lies about the November 2020 election in order to create barriers to voting and silence the voices of Pennsylvanians.

The announcement come after State Sen. Doug Mastriano called for a 2020 election audit in Pennsylvania and Pa. House Rep. Rob Kauffman called for a forensic audit of the 2020 election.

Both visited Arizona last week to learn about Republican efforts to find irregularities in the presidential election.

According to Governor Wolf, he opposes the following barriers to voting that are included in the bill:

  • Voter ID restrictions similar to those found unconstitutional by Pennsylvania courts.
  • Excessive limitations on mail-in voting, including ID requirements to get a mail-in or absentee ballot that are more restrictive even than Georgia’s newly enacted voter suppression law,
  • Arbitrary signature matching on mail-in ballots without standards for the process and limited time for voters to fix their ballot.
  • Placing strict limits on the use of drop boxes by county election offices, making it less convenient for a voter to simply submit their ballot.
  • Blocking counties from having more than ten early vote centers, which limits our largest counties to one center for every 150,000 people.
  • Recodifies a 5-year ban on registering to vote by felons, which was found unconstitutional.
  • Strips local county officials and the state’s election officials of significant authority and empowers an unelected Election Law Advisory Board to make many decisions.

“These measures are not about improving access to voting or election security. They’re about politicians trying to control voting for their own political gun,” Gov. Wolf said.

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