Republicans in Pennsylvania are pursuing new voting rules aimed at eliminating voter fraud in future elections. The state was one of several which was rife with accusations of fraud after the extremely close and contentious count of votes in the 2020 general election. President Trump lost the state despite efforts by his campaign to overturn the controversial results. Now legislators are working to prevent a similarly confused outcome in 2022.
State Republicans propose voting changes
The 2022 election in Pennsylvania will see voters electing their next governor and United States Senator, replacing Tom Wolf and Pat Toomey respectively.
Republicans in the state legislature have thus introduced a proposal for a change in voting rules for the upcoming election in combination with their assessment of the flaws in the 2020 election.
State Representative Seth Grove is leading the effort after presiding over ten hearings related to the 2020 results as chairman of the House State Government Committee.
Grove argues that the goal of the proposed change is merely to ensure that it is “easy to vote, but hard to cheat” in Pennsylvania.
Democrats have accused Republicans of seeking “voter suppression” in a manner similar to the accusations which have been made targeting Florida and Georgia legislators for enacting their own voting reforms in response to 2020.
With varying degrees of success state Republicans throughout the country have been working to introduce legislation which would strengthen election security in the aftermath of the November results.
Voter ID remains controversial
The proposal by state Republicans includes a number of specific changes which they argue would contribute to trust in results of future elections.
These suggestions consist of requirements for independent audits and stricter verification processes for mail-in ballots, including signature verification.
Perhaps most controversial will be the strict voter ID requirements requested, which include provisions for ensuring that all eligible voters have access to free photo ID.
Democrats have described these suggestions as being akin to Jim Crow, particularly the voter ID requirements, which they claim will be too difficult for many black voters to obey.
Governor Wolf has vowed to reject any proposed changes to the status of voter ID requirements in Pennsylvania, though he has stated that he is open to discussing other potential changes with Republican legislators.
Democrats have generally showed little enthusiasm for any of the voting changes being suggested by state Republicans, accusing the proposals overall of not being serious possibilities.