Setting Election Laws Belongs To Pennsylvania’s Legislature, Not Its Courts

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If you thought the Democratic Party was finished manipulating our election laws through the Pennsylvania Court system, think again.

The Democrat county commissioners of Montgomery County recently filed suit to continue the ongoing work of the Democratic Party. The changes the commissioners want were in the Pennsylvania Voting Rights Protections Act (House Bill 1300), which would have increased access for legal voters, ensured election integrity for all election processes, and modernized our election laws. Instead of advocating for its passage, however, the Montgomery County Commissioners sat on their hands and allowed Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf to veto this important legislation to help counties administer elections.

Instead of filing lawsuits at the bidding of the Democratic Party, the Montgomery County commissioners should be working with the legislative branch to change election laws. Instead, they are helping weaponize the Pennsylvania courts and Department of State to change election laws.

We have another chance. The Pennsylvania Voting Rights Protection has been reintroduced as House Bill 1800 and addresses how to improve our state’s election process. All Wolf needs to do is work with the General Assembly.

Democrats Disenfranchised Voters in 2020

Last year, the Democrat Party of Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit requesting six changes to the Pennsylvania Election Code, again wrongly using the courts instead of the legislature. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court rendered a verdict less than two months before the 2020 general election. The decision made five major changes to our election laws.

One, it allowed for drop boxes. Two, it extended the “received-by” deadline by three days past Election Day for mail-in ballots postmarked by 8 p.m. on Election Day and included a presumption of timely mailing for ballots without a legible postmark or proof of service.

Three, county boards of election were not required “to implement a ‘notice and opportunity to cure’ procedure” for mailed ballots. Fourth, electors voting by mail were required to use a secrecy envelope or have their ballots rendered invalid. Lastly, a residency requirement for poll watchers was found constitutional.

The late lawsuit and impending Department of State guidance put local election officials into a tailspin, adding confusion and creating non-uniform administration of elections. Under oath, former Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar admitted she unilaterally decided not to count votes for federal races via mail-in ballots received after election night, disenfranchising actual voters.

That’s right, Wolf’s administration disenfranchised voters during the 2020 election. This is the same Wolf administration that worked to ensure private foundations funded Democrat-controlled counties during the 2020 general election.

Democrats’ Failed Ploy in 2021 Primary

During the 2021 primary election, the Democrat Party of Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit to change election laws. In addition, the Philadelphia Election Board voted to approve mail-in ballots without a signature or date, in violation of state election laws. This was an attempt to bait the Republican Party into filing suit and again having the Pennsylvania Supreme Court change election laws.

We didn’t take the bait and picked a different path. We sent a letter to Philadelphia’s Election Board informing them that if they did not rescind their vote to break the election law, we would pursue articles of impeachment against them. Philadelphia’s Election Board reversed its decision, and our election laws were upheld.

Since those who are charged with enforcing election laws, specifically the attorney general, have failed to rein in rogue county election boards that violate election laws, the House of Representatives, through its impeachment power, has become the sole election law enforcement entity and we will exercise our constitutional powers to their full extent to ensure fair and free elections.

The only exciting aspect of an election should be close elections, not the process by which the elections are conducted. House Republicans are committed to improving our election system for you, the voters, and our local election officials who administer our elections.

The success of our election system rests with Wolf. Will he lead or will he fail voters?

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