STATEMENT: On Gov. Wolf’s Veto of SB48, a Bill to Eliminate Straight-Party Ticket Voting

Marc Stier |

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center Director Marc Stier made the following statement on Governor Wolf’s veto of SB48, a bill to eliminate straight-party ticket voting, among other election reforms:

“We are gratified that Governor Wolf has vetoed SB48.”

“SB48 started out as a bill to help Pennsylvania counties secure funds to procure new, secure voting machines. Republicans decided to add a provision to eliminate straight ticket voting from the Pennsylvania ballot.”

“As my colleague Kadida Kenner pointed out in a powerful op-ed (http://bit.ly/2LpnYnH), eliminating straight ticket voting would have depressed the vote of people of color and low-income voters, who are often ignored by political campaigns, in down-ballot races— including those to the General Assembly.

“Like the unnecessary Voter ID laws and partisan redistricting plans they have adopted in the past, the attempt to eliminate straight-ticket voting was a shameful attempt by a Republican Party to rig our political system in their favor.

“The state still needs to help counties pay for new voting machines. We urge the General Assembly to take this task up in the Fall. And, if they again have an urge to add to that legislation, instead of adopting a proposal that stands in the way of the most extensive participation in our elections, they could adopt provisions that encourage such participation, such as early voting and mail-in ballots.”

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