Pennsylvania Takes The Lead In Election Security

The Pennsylvania Legislature has just passed a bill amending the constitutional provision to mandate voters show identity documentation each time they cast a vote.

SB735, a bipartisan bill, was approved by a vote of 30 to 20. All Republicans and one Democrat voted in favor of the motion.

The Bill Comes With Several Changes to Voting in the State

Presently, regional voters are really only obliged to provide identity while voting at a polling site for the first time. Each moment a vote is given, including when participating by mail, the proposition would require some type of authentication.

It also suggests changing the Pennsylvania Constitution’s voting age down from 21 to 18, bringing the state in line with the rest of the country’s Constitution.

Amendments to the Constitution can be adopted if two-thirds of both Houses and the Senate concur on a plan and it is approved by three-quarters of states, or if two-thirds of state governments support the proposed changes.

In a remark about the measure, Republican Sen. Bob Mensch state it’s apparent that Pennsylvania residents would appreciate this reasonable need for secure elections. He added that we urgently need to agree on methods that restore trust in our elections and aren’t prone to frequent change. If this measure passes, it will be submitted before the voters and, if accepted, will be written into the state Constitution.

However, state Sen. Steve Santarsiero, a Democrat, stated that altering the constitutional provision should not be considered a remedy every moment we differ on a political matter.

Sen. Judy Ward, a Republican from Pennsylvania, referenced the latest poll that indicated overwhelming support for stricter voter ID laws in the state.

According to Ward, the citizens of Pennsylvania are pleading for all of this.

Some expressed alarm about the lengthy process of obtaining legal identification, which opponents believe will deter some people from voting.

According to Sen. Sharif Street, a Democrat, there is virtually little proof of chronic fraudulent voting in Pennsylvania. In addition, we should all fight to ensure that as much general public as possible participates in the election process.

There is Some Opposition

Likewise, the bill’s opponent, the nonpartisan Group of 70, stated in a declaration that voting fraud is very rare and that adequate voter ID standards are in existence already.

Several days before, the Pennsylvania state House passed Proposed Bill 1300; this bill included a requirement that voters provide ID, as well as other polling, auditing, and procedure-related provisions.

House Republicans praised the bill, saying it is required to maintain what they called purity to the commonwealth’s electoral process. Others said their people pressured them to vote for the plan. 

Gov. Tom Wolf, a liberal, has stated multiple times that every election-related legislation will be vetoed. Wolf announced on Twitter on June 22 and said he would veto the proposed bill if it reached his desk in its present form.