State Watch

Pennsylvania governor vetoes GOP-backed elections bill

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Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) has vetoed a GOP-backed election reform bill over its voter ID requirements and limits on mail-in voting, multiple news outlets reported on Wednesday

“Just vetoed House Bill 1300,” Wolf wrote on Twitter. “I made it clear I wouldn’t sign a bill that creates barriers to voting.” 

The proposed legislation, called the Voting Rights Protection Actwould’ve required voters to show ID during every election, codified early voting, established new security rules for drop boxes and allowed voters to fix mail-in ballots with missing signatures. 

In a news conference, Wolf said that the voter ID requirement in the bill wasn’t the most “reasonable” choice.

“It’s selectively discriminatory and it suppresses the vote,” he said, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The bill would have also, however, made two changes that local elections officials have been seeking, the Inquirer reported: moving up the deadline for requesting a mail-in ballot and allowing them to process those ballots ahead of Election Day.

GOP lawmakers voiced their displeasure with the veto of the bill. 

“It’s really a shame for the counties and those who are looking to improve our election laws that the governor vetoes a bill that he refused to be engaged with even for one minute of his time,” state House GOP spokesperson Jason Gottesman told The Associated Press.

State Rep. Seth Grove (R) said in a statement that Wolf and Democratic lawmakers went back on their word to veto this bill. 

“I find it really strange House Democrats advocated against aspects of the General Appropriations legislation (Senate Bill 255) even though a large number of them approved the bill less than a week ago,” Grove said.

The measure was one of several Republicans have introduced or passed around the country following last year’s election, when President Biden flipped several states previously won by former President Trump, including Pennsylvania.

GOP lawmakers in Pennsylvania have also called for the state to do an Arizona-style audit of the 2020 election this month. 

Tags 2020 2020 election Donald Trump Early voting elections reform Joe Biden mail-in voting Pennslyvania Tom Wolf voting reform Voting rights bill
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