– The Pennsylvania Senate today approved comprehensive measures to improve the Commonwealth’s elections when it sent to the governor the Voting Rights Protection Act (House Bill 1300
). In response, the bill’s sponsor, House State Government Committee Chairman Seth Grove (R-York), issued the following statement:
“I want to thank the Senate for its quick action approving the most comprehensive election bill in the country. It is now up to Gov. Tom Wolf to fulfill the will of the people, who said they want a more secure voting process, as well as more access and a more modernized election process.
“According to a recent poll by Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, 74% of those polled support requirements that voters show an identification card when voting in person and 81% are in favor of signature verification. Both of the measures, as well as an assortment of others, such as early voting, allowing voters to correct non-fatal errors on mail-in ballots, yearly election audits and more much, are included in the bill.
“The Voting Rights Protection Act ensures no voter would be disenfranchised by giving all voters an enhanced durable, scannable voter registration identification cards, much like the identification cards currently issued to voters, to be used when voting in person. Voters can also use other identification cards nearly all Pennsylvanians already possess. According to the Pennsylvania Department of State, there are 8.7 million registered voters in the state. Statistics from the Department of Transportation show 9 million Pennsylvanians have a driver’s license.
“As the governor has not engaged the General Assembly in good faith negotiations, the Voting Rights Protection Act will be the best deal for the governor for the remainder of his term in office. Should the bill not become law, the Senate has moved Sen. Judy Ward’s Senate Bill 735
to require voter identification via a constitutional amendment. We will take election reform directly to the people and bypass the executive branch. Considering the strong support of voter identification, it is highly likely it would be approved by voters.
“It is my hope the governor signs the Voting Rights Protection Act into law. Another option would be for him not to sign it but allow it to become law without his signature,” concluded Grove.