Pennsylvania GOP Moves to Repeal No-Excuse Mail-In Ballot Provisions
Republican state lawmakers in Pennsylvania have announced they will introduce legislation to repeal provisions in the law that allows for no-excuse mail-in ballots.
“By removing the provisions of law that allow for no-excuse mail-in ballots, we can regain some trust in our elections’ integrity,” they added. “Faith in our election process is crucial to our democracy. We remain hopeful that this initiative, and any additional legislative changes that will come forward from our hearings, will once again restore confidence in our democracy and shine a light into the shadow of doubt that has been cast over Americans’ most democratic process.”
The senators said that Gov. Tom Wolf (D) and Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar (D), as well as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which has a 5-2 Democratic majority, had taken advantage of mail-in voting and “usurped legislative power to set the conditions for an election result in their political interest.”
“Their actions were a direct attack on the legislature’s power to set the time, place, and manner of holding elections, as granted by the U.S. and Pennsylvania Constitutions,” the senators continued. “These actions taken in the last moments leading up to the election were inconsistent and questionable, and were not the legislature’s intent when passing Act 77.”
Wolf in October 2019 signed Act 77, a law that creates a new option to vote by mail without needing to provide an excuse, which was required up until then for people using absentee ballots. A news release from Wolf’s office at the time called the effort one that made voting “more convenient and secure.”
Pennsylvania was among the six battleground states where election results were contested for weeks following the Nov. 4, 2020 general election. Then-President Donald Trump, Republicans, and other third parties alleged that there were widespread voting irregularities and potential fraud, as well as unconstitutional changes to voting laws prior to the election.
Georgia was among the contested states. Its secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, backed fellow Republicans in December 2020 in calling to end no-excuse voting, saying that it “opens the door to potential illegal voting, especially in light of the federal rules that deny us the ability to keep voter lists, registration files, clean.”