HARRISBURG, Pa. – Today, the Pennsylvania Protects Our Constitution Coalition (PPOC) asks Pennsylvania lawmakers to oppose proposed legislation by the Senate State Government Committee that would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution.
The proposed amendments would introduce onerous photo identification requirements in order to vote in an election, and would require the legislature to change how election audits are conducted.
“This is an attempt to force an agenda that couldn’t be advanced through traditional democratic means,” said Khalif Ali, executive director of Common Cause Pennsylvania. “Constitutions are meant to safeguard rights, not take them away. If lawmakers want to propose impractical laws — especially those that waste taxpayer dollars and make it more difficult to vote — at the very least they should do so through the regular legislative process, not backdoor amendments.”
If passed, one proposed amendment would require the General Assembly to pass laws requiring election audits. This amendment is especially futile because the Pennsylvania constitution already requires election audits, and the General Assembly can already pass laws requiring additional audits through the regular legislative process.
This proposed amendment would take the responsibility to audit elections away from counties and the Department of State and give it to the Auditor General. No other state in the country allows an elected Auditor General to audit elections.
The legislation proposed today would also place an amendment on the ballot asking voters if photo identification should be required for presentation at each election. The coalition emphasizes that though this amendment was approved last session, it was a part of a package of amendments, and lawmakers may not have taken the time to consider each thoughtfully.
Voter identification laws have been shown to disproportionately disenfranchise Black and Latino voters and provide little additional security to elections. The coalition reminds Pennsylvanians that there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Pennsylvania, nor elsewhere in the country.