Friday, June 11, 2021

Pa. GOP Proposes Election Law Changes

Yesterday, I told you that county officials statewide have been frustrated by the state's failure to tweak our election laws. As luck would have it, state GOP legislators proposed some major changes yesterday. Though Governor Wolf and Democrats are already complaining, most of the changes are really noncontroversial and will help county elections officials. 

SpotlightPa lists these changes as follows: 

  • Require every voter to present ID at the polls - This is the most controversial change. Democrats have maintained for years that minorities and persons with limited income often lack ID. That may have been true decades ago, but these days, everyone has ID. As an election judge, members of both parties often insisted on presenting ID, even though it was unnecessary. While I doubt that an ID requirement is really needed to prevent someone from impersonating another voter, it will give Republicans more faith in our elections.   

  • Allow counties to begin processing and counting mail ballots — what’s known as “pre-canvassing” — five days before Election Day - County elections officials have been begging for this head start so they can complete the county as soon as possible after the polls close. 

  • Create six days of in-person early voting, beginning after the 2024 presidential election - There was a long line of early voters before the 2020 Presidential. This stressed an elections office that was burdened with numerous other tasks. 

  • Allow mail ballot drop boxes for seven days before Election Day

  • Move the voter registration deadline to 30 days before Election Day, from 15 -  When a person registers 15 days before an election, it is often too late for registration information to be placed in pollbooks. I have encountered numerous voters from both parties who had registration cards but were not in the system.  

  • Move the deadline for requesting mail ballots to 15 days before Election Day, from seven. -  We now know that numerous voters who wait until the last minute to apply for an absentee will end up having to go to the polls on election day and vote provisionally.  Extending the cut-off date ensures those who apply for a mail-in ballot will actually get them before the election.  

  • Allow voters to fix — or “cure” — mail ballots with missing signatures. - This was a major problem in the Presidential.  

  • Ban counties from accepting private donations for election administration. - This appears to be an overreaction to Facebook's donations to numerous counties to cover Covid-related expenses. 

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Screw ID's and use a finger print as an id.

Everybody has one and does not have to wait to get one and they are all supposed to be unique. But the republicans hate the use of fingers prints even more then the democrats. because they cannot be controlled and doled out to mange those that can vote.

Anonymous said...

They should also match voting booths and poling stations to the populace in an area. The more people the more booths and polling places.

Anonymous said...

If ID is to be required to vote (as a Democrat, I have no problem with that), then the county should provide a no-cost voter ID card for those who are eligible to vote, but may not have a driver's license.

Anonymous said...

The Alliance for Secure Elections is happy the Legislature so trying to help. It still support the Lehigh Township, Northampton County resolution for secure voting.

Anonymous said...

I like the ID requirement. It's widely accepted in everything our government does by we the people, and has been for years. I also heard that contrary to progressive thought, black citizens actually DO know how to obtain ID, and most in fact, have done so. Talk about racism. Yikes. Low expectations to keep 'em down on the farm, I guess. But Bernie has admitted to being a racist, in his defense. This post shows he still has work to do.

Anonymous said...

Over reaction. If the Republicans were on the receiving end instead of the dems, I'd be hearing you cry.
Tell the readers how much we are talking. If you know. Facebook, Soros....

Mike said...

I agree with you. The voter ID thing is puzzling. I believe it is actually a requirement for first-time voters, isn't it? Also, the current PA verification method seems to be matching a signature. This is pretty questionable, as I've read about legal arguments involving handwriting experts and signatures on things like a will. Expecting an election judge to verify it is not realistic. Now, it's even worse as you sign in on an iPad so you may not even be able to recognize your own signature. Those worried about seniors (don't) or others without ID should expend a fraction of their "get out the vote" effort toward "get an ID". I had to show ID to vote in suburban NYC in the 1970s, so this is hardly a new idea nor a Republican idea. What we need is confidence in election integrity. I think it already exists (with some minor and insignificant exceptions) but we need to take it for granted that the vote is accurate and in accordance with all rules. This seems to address most of that.

Anonymous said...

It looks like a good start, to insure a timely result and orderly process.

Anonymous said...

These sound like a good start. Just stay away from 11/3/2020. Thank you Komrads for your continuing support,

John G said...

Wouldn't allowing early in-person voting create more work for poll workers? Instead of 1 long day of voting, you have to staff locations for 6 days??

I understand why we needed no excuse MIB during a pandemic. Now that that is over, can't we go back to predominantly in-person voting with absentee ballots / MIB for people who CANT be there on election day?

Keep it simple and insure election integrity, thats it.

Anonymous said...

Let’s admit there is nothing wrong in our election system. ID should not be required at the polls, That is just a gimmick to disenfranchise the minorities. How about making Election Day a Holiday for everyone, a paid Holiday. Also, alcohol cannot be served at restaurants and bars until the polls are closed @ 8pm.

Anonymous said...

Beginning after the 2024 Election? How about “as of January 1, 2023?” Another Presidential Election like 2020 is no good.

Bernie O'Hare said...

". The voter ID thing is puzzling. I believe it is actually a requirement for first-time voters, isn't it? Also, the current PA verification method seems to be matching a signature. "

Currently, voter ID is required for first-time voters and voters who have moved to a new precinct. A wide variety of forms of ID is acceptable, from a bill to driver's license.

"Wouldn't allowing early in-person voting create more work for poll workers? Instead of 1 long day of voting, you have to staff locations for 6 days??"

Early voting only exists at the courthouse.

" the county should provide a no-cost voter ID card for those who are eligible to vote, but may not have a driver's license."

Agreed. In fact, NorCo Council should adopt a resolution to that effect and make an effort in various pockets of the county.

"I understand why we needed no excuse MIB during a pandemic. Now that that is over, can't we go back to predominantly in-person voting with absentee ballots / MIB for people who CANT be there on election day?"

Act 77 was adopted prior to the pandemic. But for Trump's nonsense, you would see it used evenly by both Ds and Rs. It is simple and allows people to vote who may otherwise be unable,. There are lots of people out there who work two or three jobs to keep food on the table.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Over reaction. If the Republicans were on the receiving end instead of the dems, I'd be hearing you cry.
Tell the readers how much we are talking. If you know. Facebook, Soros...."


The $ in question came from Facebook and went to all counties, D and R. It went to counties that voted 80% for Trump. So to me, this is an over-reaction.

Anonymous said...

Over the past 9 months, I've been conditioned to severely doubt any Republican thoughts on election processes, but what is proposed above seems reasonable, even the ID I think I could live with even though it does have a "Let's see your papers" vibe to it.

As someone mentioned in an earlier thread - they should also be addressing Redistricting and residency requirements as well.

Anonymous said...

If voter ID is required it should be easily accessible to all. Some people lack access to standard ID documents. If its going to be required for in-person voting there should be sign up campaigns before every general election all over the community. Also, keeping MIB'S is a great idea that allows more people to vote conveniently and increases turn out. The system for verifying those ballots worked well and will be even better as people get used to the process. In states where they have used MIB'S exclusively for years, election costs are down bc they no longer have to buy and maintain voting machines and can spend time and effort on training, etc. Voting participation in those states is higher year on year as well. PA should eventually follow their lead instead of having to spend millions every 10 years or so on new machines.

Huck Weaver said...

PLEASE REQUIRE PHOTO I.D.

Anonymous said...

A id is now available from the state, you need an id to get a phone, bank account, all government benefits. if people need help getting an id, i am sure help is available.

Anonymous said...

it would be good to be able to match registration sign in with a ballot, that would insure that an audit could be conducted if needed. What's to stop throwing out ballots and replacing them with others.

Huck Weaver said...

Me and My wife had to show Photo I.D. For our Covid shots. I have to show Photo I.D. when I take My cats to the Vet.

Anonymous said...

Photo ID requirement is a must. Showing a photo ID is very common these days, from airline travel, getting a driver’s license, at the doctor’s office, when picking-up a prescription, cashing a check, and the list grows by the day. The excuses against showing a photo ID are ridiculous in today’s digital age.

Anonymous said...

This ID thing is just puzzling to me. As was stated in a prior post, I was issued a voter registration card for my precinct when I moved. I actually bring it with me when voting just in case. This should solve the problem. To be a registered voter you are issued the card. Require voters to show the card when signing in. Okay...I know. People will say how do you know that is the person who is voting. Seriously. There is going to be a drove of voters using someone else's voter registration card descending on the polls? Yes, in theory obtaining a government issued ID is not difficult. That said, for some (e.g., elderly, lower income, ESL, etc.) it is difficult. Honestly, we could end up going down the Real ID rabbit hole which negatively impacts women. I mean we women have to prove our birth name, our married name, etc. with official documentation. So, how far do we take the ID.

Anonymous said...

Everybody has one and does not have to wait to get one and they are all supposed to be unique. But the republicans hate the use of fingers prints even more then the democrats. because they cannot be controlled and doled out to mange those that can vote."

i don't relish the government keeping a file of everyone's finger prints


and england has required voter ID for years. I don't hear anyone claiming voter suppression there

Anonymous said...

Speaking of elections, there are no certified results yet in lehigh valley?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Incorrect. Results ion both counties are certified. All you need do is check their websites before spreading misinformation. I also wrote a story about NorCo's certification.

Anonymous said...

@12:57 - you idiot... still have your tRump flag on your out of inspection pickup truck?

Anonymous said...

The GOP continues to search for solutions to problems that don't exist. In unguarded moments, members of the party have admitted that they expect to gain an electoral advantage.

Anonymous said...

Funny, we used to have voter cards when you reg. years ago. Name, party and voting district. hmm......

Anonymous said...

12.54
"and england has required voter ID for years. I don't hear anyone claiming voter suppression there"
try
https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/uk-government-introduce-criticised-voter-id-law-this-year-2021-05-11/
"But civil liberties groups have criticised the plans, saying the would discriminate against those voters, often from ethnic minority and working class backgrounds, who lack photo identification or dissuade others to take part in elections."
just like what republicans want to do here

Anonymous said...

Huck,

Great point! I just realized that I had to show mine to get my COVID vaccine. I wonder if Bernie or anyone else through their sources can confirm if having an ID was mandatory to get a COVID vaccine or if you said you did not have one they just gave you a pass?

Anonymous said...

MIB is great. I could take my time to look up candidates where many were on the balot but not much information on them was available so I could be a more informed voter when it came to judicial canidates.

Anonymous said...

MIB is great. I could take my time to look up candidates where many were on the balot but not much information on them was available so I could be a more informed voter when it came to judicial canidates.

Anonymous said...

Citizens United President: RNC May Circumvent Networks If Debate Reforms Are Not Adopted

This is aside bar topic of the election crying. The real pathetic thing is that all questions are submitted to the candidates prior to any of these scripted bachelorette esk garbage.

This may be a topic to discuss.

Anonymous said...

The Penna Leadership Conference endorses secure elections.

Anonymous said...

Why do you people want to stop democracy? Voter suppression in any way is not acceptable. We need laws to secure our votes otherwise we will lose our country. It’s up to Joe Manchin to vote to eliminate the filibuster or the game is f——— over.

Anonymous said...

Just remember the current law regarding MIB was passed by the same GOP Legislators that say it's now "Unconstitutional". Can you say Sore Losers...

Anonymous said...

9:07 - Pretty sure the real desire of most voters is a guarantee that only American CITIZENS are voting. Not people brought here for the purpose of voting who never complete the full process of AMERICAN citizenship.

Anonymous said...

If you do not have a photo ID, you can use a non-photo identification that includes your name and address.

Confirmation issued by the County Voter Registration Office
Non-photo ID issued by the Commonwealth
Non-photo ID issued by the U.S. Government
Firearm permit
Current utility bill
Current bank statement
Current paycheck
Government check

Anonymous said...

Just another place the politicians and those who bank roll them make the laws to favor themselves and screw everyone else. This is a portion of an article that sound bad until you read more about the laws and you realize it is thievery, collusion, and a general money power grab on scales we commoners cannot even fathom.

The New York Times
Private Inequity: How a Powerful Industry Conquered the Tax System

Jesse Drucker and Danny Hakim
Sat, June 12, 2021, 11:40 AM
There were two weeks left in the Trump administration when the Treasury Department handed down a set of rules governing an obscure corner of the tax code.

Overseen by a senior Treasury official whose previous job involved helping the wealthy avoid taxes, the new regulations represented a major victory for private equity firms. They ensured that executives in the $4.5 trillion industry, whose leaders often measure their yearly pay in eight or nine figures, could avoid paying hundreds of millions in taxes.

The rules were approved on Jan. 5, the day before the riot at the U.S. Capitol. Hardly anyone noticed.

Anonymous said...

Ds are richer than Rs. Have an original thought and change the Trump channel on your broken TV. Move on and realize both sides are crooks and you sound stupid and tribal attacking one side for what the other does just as well. Yaaaawwwwn dude. Yawn.

Anonymous said...

Today, there are other ways to verify ID without a laminated piece of paper. Like the US mail, make no mistake about it, there will be efforts made to make it more difficult to get ID. My mother did not have ID for the last decade of her life. She was a real person. Every member of the legislature should be required to copy the signature of another upside down. We can even pay them a per diem day for doing so.

Anonymous said...

@12:51 "Pretty sure the real desire of most voters is a guarantee that only American CITIZENS are voting. Not people brought here for the purpose of voting who never complete the full process of AMERICAN citizenship."

Another Right Wing racist ghost story to frighten the elderly. Always LOVE these conspiracy theories that Dems are importing human beings to the country on a massive scale to get more votes... Like Democrat staffers are cruising around Jalisco, Mexico in vans and buses to harvest voters.

Think of the cost and logistics of such an enterprise to bring in 100 voters. Now multiply that cost by 10,000.

Anonymous said...

The GOP wants to complain now, but where were they when they certified an election that violated the State constitution! It's all flub!