Pennsylvania Senate Committee Chair Warns of ‘Difficult Road’ for Bipartisan Election Reforms Because of Wolf Administration

Pennsylvania acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid did not testify in person at Tuesday’s Senate State Government Committee hearing on bipartisan election reforms, accentuating a rift between committee Republicans and Gov. Tom Wolf’s (D) administration.

The legislation the committee is considering is bipartisan and doesn’t include voter-ID provisions or similarly controversial items. Committee Chairman David Argall (R-Pottsville) however lamented that Wolf has suggested he may veto the bill. 

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Pennsylvania County Commissioners’ Group Opposes Live-Streaming of Mail-In Vote Counting

Bipartisan enthusiasm for election-reform legislation appeared solid at a Pennsylvania Senate State Government Committee hearing on Thursday, save for one part: video live-streaming of mail-in-ballot counting.

Elements of the bill, sponsored by Sen. David Argall (R-PA-Pottsville) and Sen. Sharif Street (D-PA-Philadelphia), have arisen largely from recommendations in a June 2021 report by the Senate Special Committee on Election Integrity and Reform. Argall and Street’s proposal excludes some of the ad hoc panel’s more contentious ideas, particularly enhanced voter-identification rules, which Rep. Seth Grove (R-PA-York) is spearheading in separate legislation. (While Gov. Tom Wolf [D] vetoed Grove’s bill in June, the representative has reintroduced it in light of the governor’s subsequent remarks in favor of a strengthened voter-ID requirement.)

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