Democrats and Republicans still clash over mail-in voting regulations

Written by on February 12, 2021

 Democrats and Republicans still clash over mail-in voting regulations

by Ben Stemrich

February 15, 2021

FILE – In this Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020 file photo, Chester County election workers process mail-in and absentee ballots for the 2020 general election in the United States at West Chester University in West Chester, Pa. On Friday, Dec. 4, 2020, The Associated Press reported on stories circulating online incorrectly asserting that Pennsylvania election officials mailed out 1.8 million ballots but counted votes from more than 2.5 mailed ballots. The false statistic combines data from Pennsylvania’s June primary election, in which 1.8 million voters requested vote-by-mail ballots, and data from the general election, in which voters mailed back more than 2.6 million ballots that were counted. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The debate over mail-in ballots rages on in Pennsylvania. Republican lawmakers want to make changes to the election code that had bipartisan support back in 2019. 

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If you applied for a mail-in ballot, there was an option to get on a permanent list to receive future mail-in ballot applications.

State Rep. Doyle Heffley (R-Carbon) says that could lead to fraud.

“They get people’s social security numbers, they get their banking accounts, they steal their money. You don’t think they would do that. It’s the same thing if it changes the voting. Especially if we would go with the proposal from some of our Democratic colleagues to mail out a ballot to every registered voter or automatic registration when someone turns 18,” Heffley says.

Brendan Welch with the Pennsylvania Democratic Party says that’s not what the law says.

“It doesn’t mean you’re going to get a mail-in ballot for every single election including primaries, it means you’re going to get another application,” Welch says.

Welch says he thinks Republicans want the changes for one reason alone.

“It really comes down to that Donald Trump decided about a year ago that he didn’t like mail-in voting,” Welch says. 

Republicans have introduced several bills that would amend the state election code. Gov. Tom Wolf has said he would not support major changes to the election code.

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