|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 16, 2021
Contact: Kirstin Snow, email@example.com
STATEMENT- Why PA House Bill 1300 Is a Clear Attempt to Restrict Voting
From Marc Stier, Director, PA Budget and Policy Center
“The vast majority of us care about democratic government and want secure and free elections. We want to go to the polls and know that our vote is being counted. We want it to be easy to vote. We want all eligible voters—not ineligible ones—to cast their ballots. We want our votes to be counted fairly, and we want to know who won relatively quickly. And, ultimately, we want everyone to acknowledge the legitimate results of free and fair elections.
We can have modern free, fair, and secure elections. We can use technology to ensure that people are able to vote conveniently and without sacrificing security.
Yet on Tuesday, the House State Government Committee, in a purely partisan vote, moved a bill that makes voting harder. It would make the election process more confusing, change deadlines for no reason, and would roll back alternative and easy ways to vote by limiting the number and availability of ballot drop boxes and satellite election offices. The bill tries to broaden voter ID rules even though everyone already has to show identification to vote. The bill also seeks to reduce the role of local and state election administrators while giving the PA Legislature—which has a clear interest in election outcome—more authority over those elections. The checks and balances were designed 200 years ago to limit legislatures from taking rash actions that could also threaten democracy. This bill does exactly what the founders feared.
This bill is a cynical attempt to restrict voting under the guise of making voting easier. It is a dishonest attempt to build on the distrust of the 2020 election results that were sowed, in large part, by the very people who are putting this legislation forward. Many of them called on the United States Congress to overturn the decision of Pennsylvania voters in 2020.
As if the bill isn’t bad enough, the most radical right-wing member of the Senate, Doug Mastriano, is now calling for a constitutional amendment that would require voters to bring a picture ID to their voting place or to send a copy along with their mail-in ballot. The latter requirement is a security risk for Pennsylvania’s voters. And, as we pointed out above, the push for expanded use of voter ID is utterly unnecessary and likely to restrict the electorate.”
The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center is a nonpartisan policy research project that provides independent, credible analysis on state tax, budget and related policy matters, with attention to the impact of current or proposed policies on working families.