Gov. Wolf’s veto of election-law changes means he and the GOP-run state legislature remain at odds over voting

Written by on July 1, 2021

Gov. Wolf’s veto of election-law changes means he and the GOP-run state legislature remain at odds over voting

By Sam Dunklau

July 1, 2021

Signs in front of the polling place in Hokendauqua. Photo | Genesis Ortega / WLVR

Gov. Tom Wolf is halting a package of election law changes pushed by the Republican-led state legislature, a move that has been widely anticipated. 

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Wolf made it clear for weeks that he would not support the changes, framed by Republicans as the “Voting Rights Protection Act,” but criticized by Democrats as something that would do the opposite.

Chief on Wolf’s no-go list was an idea to make all voters show identification each time they vote.

State Rep. Seth Grove (R-York), who sponsored the legislation, promised voters would get free permanent ID cards to help them meet that requirement.

Wolf says all first time voters already have to show ID, so there was no need to change anything.

Grove notes that the latest Franklin and Marshall College poll showed Pennsylvania voters broadly support a photo ID requirement.

Voter advocates, meanwhile, say the measure didn’t address more important things, like ballot chain-of-custody and independent observer rights.

The governor’s veto also struck down some changes county election offices wanted, like more time to prepare mail-in ballots for counting.

Using a line-item veto, Wolf also struck down a separate ask in the state budget agreement to create a state-run Bureau of Election Audits.

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