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House GOP Unveils Ambitious Proposal To Revamp Election Law In Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Election Law voting ballot vote
Gene J. Puskar
FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2020, file photo, ballots from the Nov. 3, 2020 general election are counted at the Allegheny County Election Division warehouse on the Northside of Pittsburgh. A Republican proposal made public on Thursday, June 10, 2021, would revamp Pennsylvania election law to affect deadlines, early voting and mail-in ballots and require ID for all in-person voters.

A Republican proposal to revamp Pennsylvania election law was unveiled Thursday, an ambitious 149-page bill that would change deadlines, early voting and mail-in ballot procedures and mandate IDs for all in-person voters.

The measure sponsored by State Government Committee Chairman Seth Grove, R-York, is likely to encounter severe pushback from Democrats in a state where the two major parties are usually both competitive in statewide races.

Although Pennsylvania's closely watched 2020 election was carried out smoothly, many Republicans have called for election-law changes in the wake of former President Donald Trump's baseless claims of widespread voting fraud.

The bill was introduced by Grove and House Republican leaders just three weeks before lawmakers are due to wrap up business and head home for the summer.

The detailed, complicated legislation will need approval by both Republican-majority chambers as well as Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's signature to become law.

The state's counties, which run the nuts and bolts of elections, have urged lawmakers to pass just two specific changes to mail-in ballot application and counting procedures by the end of June. They say those changes will fix most of their election-administration headaches in time for the Nov. 2 general election.

Grove's bill was not negotiated with legislative Democrats or Wolf, so GOP leaders face the prospect of hammering out an agreement in the coming weeks amid a busy period of final state budget negotiations.

WESA will be surveying Pennsylvania candidates for federal and state office for the 2022 general election — tell us which issues are most important to you.