HARRISBURG (June 29, 2021) — Members of the nonpartisan Keystone Votes coalition, one of the state’s leading and most respected voices when it comes to modernizing Pennsylvania’s election process, today urged the governor to veto House Bill 1300, a sweeping but controversial set of GOP-backed legislative election reforms.
“Pennsylvania voters — not to mention hardworking state and county-level election officials — wanted the legislature and governor to allow mail-in ballots to be reviewed by election officials in advance of election day. It would have improved election security, guaranteed faster election results on election night, and given voters a chance to correct simple mistake with their ballots,” said Ray Murphy, state coordinator for Keystone Votes.
“This latest display of political brinkmanship has been disappointing,” Murphy continued. “Instead of negotiating to advance measures where there was common ground on both sides of the aisle, this all-or-nothing approach leaves us with absolutely nothing; or, at the least, it delays any reforms until the fall, when it will be overly burdensome for local election officials, as they testified to lawmakers, and confusing for voters who will have to navigate any last-minute changes.”
“Something would have been better than nothing, especially since there were several issues where all sides agreed, as with pre-canvassing,” said Khalif Ali, executive director of Common Cause Pennsylvania. “Any change moving forward must be made in a bipartisan effort like Acts 77 and 12. The Bureau of Election Audits created in this bill statutorily was a cause for concern for us, and unfortunately, continues to be in the discussions we’ve been hearing. Let’s hope cooler heads prevail over the summer so we can get an agreement in place quickly before the fall.”
Earlier this year, Keystone Votes presented a legislative roadmap to help lawmakers ensure safe, transparent elections that are accessible to all eligible voters. For the full legislative agenda, please visit www.KeystoneVotes.org.
Keystone Votes, a nonpartisan coalition comprising 42 advocacy and community organizations across the state, has been urging the commonwealth to implement reforms that would modernize the state’s election system and update technology to enhance security and accessibility. More at www.keystonevotes.org.