HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently ruled mail-in ballots constitutional and they are here to stay.
It is called pre-canvassing, which is a fancy term for opening mail-in ballots and preparing them to be fed into a machine for counting.
Act 77 says pre-canvassing cannot start until 7 a.m. on election day, but, with it being a task that both takes time and manpower, counties are begging lawmakers to let them begin the sorting process sooner.
“It is a very small thing,” said Democratic Analyst Danielle Gross, with Shelly-Lyons Communications.
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However, it could be too big of a leap for legislative Republicans like Seth Grove, who chairs the House State Government Committee.
“When you do pre-canvassing you’re opening everything up. You separate envelope from the ballot, and the game is over on election integrity, there’s no way to go back in and analyze anything, it is over,” Grove said.
Pre-canvassing was part of Grove’s comprehensive election overhaul bill that passed both the House and Senate but was vetoed by Governor Tom Wolf because of voter ID requirements. But why not do a stand-alone bill that would give counties, which are overwhelmingly Republican-controlled, the ability to pre-canvass?
“I think there’s a good number of members in General Assembly that would not do that without the proper protocols in place,” Grove said. “They are taking an issue that’s overwhelmingly bipartisan, overwhelmingly non-controversial, and making it fit their narrative about elections in Pennsylvania and their narrative is just not true.”
“They [Republicans] are taking an issue that’s overwhelmingly bipartisan, overwhelmingly non-controversial and making it fit their narrative about elections in Pennsylvania and their narrative is just not true,” said Gross.
But one thing Grove insists is not true is the narrative around pre-canvassing.
“‘Oh, we’re doing pre-canvassing. Everything’s fixed, we’re gonna have smooth elections everything’s running great.’ That’s not the case,” Grove said.
The election is on November 8 and it is likely it will happen without any of the reforms counties have asked for.