Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf dubbed the newly introduced GOP voting bill as an “extremist proposal,” amid PA Republicans’ efforts to restore election faith and integrity.
Introduced by Rep. Seth Grove (R-York), the Voting Rights Protection Act was unveiled last week to guarantee both increased access and more trust in the election process following the contested 2020 election.
In hopes to restore trust with voters, the bill would require regular election audits, expand on the state’s current voter identification laws, and improve upon registered voter lists, among several other efforts to tighten security.
Along with restoring trust, the proposed legislation also would establish early in-person voting starting in 2025, increase access for disabled voters, and start mail-in ballot counting five days prior to the election, along with other measures to increase voter access.
Speaker Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) shared his support and explained the importance of the bill in a press release.
“Pennsylvanians must have faith in their elections and this bill is another piece of restoring the public’s trust,” noted Cutler.
Gov. Wolf, however, did not join Cutler in praising the legislation. Instead, he slammed the bill as an attempt to restrict voting access in the state.
"Make no mistake, this proposal is not about protecting voter rights or increasing access. It is an extremist proposal to try and undermine confidence in our election system which led to the assault on the U.S. Capitol," Wolf’s press secretary Lyndsay Kensinger said, reported Fox News.
If the measure is ultimately vetoed by the governor, the GOP may make the issue a ballot question and put it before voters. As the governor cannot block a ballot question to change the state constitution.
Last month voters approved two Republican-penned proposals to expand the power lawmakers have over the governor’s disaster emergency declarations.