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Wolf Introduces Election Reforms

Governor Tom Wolf announced Monday his proposed reforms to Pennsylvania’s voting system to bring it into the “21st century.”

“To rebuild trust in Harrisburg, we must have fair and accessible elections for all citizens from our rural communities to our big cities.  These reforms have been championed by House and Senate Democrats to modernize our voting laws and put the people of Pennsylvania back in control of our elections. It’s time to remove barriers to voting, end gerrymandering, and curb special interests,” Wolf said in a release outlining the reforms.  

Wolf proposed three shifts in voting policies, same day voter registration, automatic voter registration, and no-excuse absentee ballots.  

Along with those reforms, Wolf reiterated his push for campaign finance reform by placing limits on campaign contributions and putting restrictions on PACs.  

Wolf also pushes for legislative redistricting to be pulled away from a political process and put into the hands of a “independent, bi-partisan commission” to draw the maps.

12 Responses

  1. Open Primaries would be a start, also absentee ballots as well as by mail. Total paper allows I believe for less fraud.

    keep up the good work for the people of PA!

  2. Besides no excuse absentee, there are three other changes that should take place. First, add permanent absentee for those whose address doesn’t change between elections. Why should voters face “Groundhog Day” every year or so if they went their ballot to arrive in the mail?

    Second, allow counties and municipalities to conduct off-year and primary elections entirely by mailed-out ballots. This saves money and increases voter participation in these important steps in the democratic process.

    Third, when it comes to upgrade PA voting systems, don’t fall into the trap of trading out the easily hackable DRE machines for “better DRE” with a paper receipt. Do what Maryland and Virginia recently did: go to 100% paper ballots. They are not only more secure but open the door for 100% mail-out elections over time.

  3. Congressional Redistricting Independent Bipartisan Commission is already in use in the US and has proven successful. It is in place in California with great results among other places. The rot and stench from redistricting is turning voters away from the voting process as they feel their vote does not count. Let’s face it, redistricting as it stands now is not about good government but rather is a moral corruption that seeks to displace the voter into a cynical system where those in power over rule the will of the people.

    1. Great article. Your right. Redistricting only hurts the voting process and leaves a large gap in the voters themselves. It’s confusing and it angers many voters to the point they don’t vote at all and of course that’s the name of the nasty game!

  4. “To rebuild trust in Harrisburg…”

    Maybe Wolf should start by finding out how up to 100,000 non-citizens ended up as registered voters in PA.

  5. No excuse absentee ballots are harmless. Same day registration would invite fraud. Perhaps the registration deadline could be moved to two weeks before the election. I think it’s good policy for precinct election officials to have a list of registered voters on hand to make sure that voters live in the precinct and are voting only once per election. Election officials are busy enough, especially during presidential elections, and shouldn’t have to be bothered with people strolling into the polling place at the last minute to register.

  6. good choice Tom is to drop out and to not run for a term for governor maybe I will support you in a future US Senate run or a governor run in 2022 if Pat Toomey decides to retire or when potentially tom wolf is term limited if he does wins reelection this year though I maybe will not is support you though because I will maybe support someone else maybe.

    1. What did he say?? Makes no sense at all. Who is he voting for; or not voting for?? Sure hope he knows.

  7. I agree with automatic voter registration, and no-excuse absentee ballots.

    The campaign contribution limits will (of course) come after Wolf has gotten all his no-limit contributions.

    What limit does Wolf propose? $5,000? $10,000? Will he give back every donation over that amount that he has received?

    Not really a profile-in-courage.

    However, even though same-day voter registration does work and seem popular in other states, PA has far too much corruption at the polling places (by poll workers) for me to feel comfortable with this. We already have provisional ballots. I prefer that same-day be handled as a modified version of provisional.

    1. I absolutely agree with your other points, but giving donations back would be silly. You play the game by the rules in place, and then try to fix the rules to improve it going forward. There’s no sense in hamstringing yourself so that your opponent – who has no such scruples – continues to win unfairly. Appeals to hypocrisy, as fallacious as they are, don’t work much anyway.

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