House Passes Poll-Watcher Bill in Response to Cheating Allegations

Voting-booth2The state House passed a new bill changing the way poll-watchers operate in Pennsylvania.  

Under the new bill, poll-watchers would be able to cover polls across county lines.  Under current law, poll-watchers can only cover polls in the county they are registered in.  

“Each election season brings new reports and criminal investigations and prosecutions across the country of alleged instances of illegal voting.  By passing this piece of legislation and making sure a good supply of poll watchers are available, our state becomes an example of how to ensure a fair election process,” state Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Allegheny), who introduced the bill, said.  

The bill is a resurgence of the Republican push from 2016 to allow watchers to cross county lines.  The push came after then candidate Trump called for his supporters to watch the polls in Philadelphia for cheating.  

Opponents of the bill argue that the change would create problems with people looking to cause problems at the polls being able to go across county lines.

The bill now moves to the Senate, where its future is uncertain.  Governor Tom Wolf has said he will veto the bill if it makes it to his desk.

8 Responses

  1. There is definately some cheating and always has been in some Phila precincts on Election Day. The solution of poll watchers across county lines is not the answer. There are some number of polling places where there simply are no Republicans at all on election boards. They don’t have anyone to serve as minority inspectors or clerks so everyone there is part of the Democratic Party. They are all paid workers. Around 7 pm, an hour before the polls close, the books are checked to see who has not voted. At that point, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what happens next. As I said, they can only get away with this in precincts where one party is running the whole show or they might be caught. Now this may only result in maybe an extra 20,000 votes citywide but in a close state election it might make a difference. It doesn’t go on in most of the state but Phila is one of the few places where you can get away with that stuff. The cure however is worse than the disease. As long as you have ward leaders given large sums of cash for helping candidates, this poses a problem far greater than the one I mentioned. It is nearly impossible to run for office in Phila without getting on a primary sample ballot in each ward. The people being picked for lower offices and even important offices must pay “homage” to each ward leader or they won’t make it on the sample ballot. Those familiar with city politics know this and that is a short tutorial on Phila politics. I’m sure places like Chicago are worse but I see nothing wrong with attempts to make sure politics gets cleaned up in places that need it.

  2. This is a great time to remind people that the PA Republican Party sent “poll watchers” to precincts that were mostly minorities and students and challenged virtually every single voter at those precincts until election protection lawyers could get a judge to issue an injunction. This was in 2004 – not exactly ancient history – and well documented, unlike the voter impersonation fantasies used to justify useless and expensive voter ID legislation. Their credibility on this issue is nil.

    “If you have to stop people voting to win elections, your ideas suck.”

    1. This^ The only reason for this proposed law is so that Republicans can come into Philly and Pittsburgh and challenge voters, causing delays and frustration, interfering with the right to vote, and disrupting elections. These challenges can be made without any basis or reason, and the burden then falls on the voter to provide their identity and their residence.

      What the legislature really needs to address is the outrageous ability of partisan poll watchers to challenge voter credentials in the first place and the shifting of the burden of proof onto the voter.

  3. Can these idiots in the PA House get any dumber. If you want trouble on Election Day, let a bunch of clowns travel around the state and have free access to hang out in polling places. This will fail both ways and then when radical liberals show up in Spittoon precinct in Dunkinburg, Cameron County, trouble will ensue.

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