Democrats on Capitol Hill have thus far failed to pass a voter reform bill that would federalize various aspects of state and local elections.
A number of GOP-led states, however, continue to advance legislation of their own to address concerns about voter fraud. Most recently, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed its own election integrity bill.
Details of the bill
House Bill 1300, also known as the Pennsylvania Voting Rights Protection Act, sailed through the chamber with a vote of 112–89 on Tuesday. The vote broke down largely along party lines with Democrats united in opposition.
According to the Washington Examiner, the bill seeks to establish an election audit bureau as well as provide for investigations into voting irregularities and related penalties.
Despite its success in the state legislature, however, the bill stands little chance of being signed into law.
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf threatened to veto the bill before lawmakers even voted on it, but Republicans nevertheless advanced it through the state House.
“Safe and secure”
In a tweet on Wednesday, the governor reiterated his plans to veto the measure.
“I want election reform, too,” Wolf wrote. “But House Bill 1300 isn’t it. The lawmakers behind this bill are the same ones who asked Congress to throw out PA votes and whose lies directly contributed to the Jan. 6 insurrection. I will veto this bill if it reaches my desk in its current form.”
He and other state Democrats insist that the bill is an underhanded effort to suppress votes, but Republicans adamantly deny such claims. Other states, including Georgia, have passed similar bills in an effort to address concerns about the integrity of November’s presidential election.
House Democratic Policy Chairman Ryan Bizzarro echoed his party’s stance in a press release, asserting: “The 2020 election was safe and secure. Every voter who tried to vote for their dead mother was caught — and those were Republican voters.”
In Pennsylvania, President Joe Biden won by roughly 80,000 votes — or about 1% of the total votes cast in the state. For various reasons, the outcome has remained mired in controversy.
Not only have state Republicans advanced House Bill 1300 as a way to address future elections, but many have also advocated for an audit of the last election’s results, using an ongoing Arizona recount as a model. It remains unclear if and when such an audit will actually take place.