Pennsylvania Republicans suggest new voter ID regulation and mail voting rollback

Pennsylvania Republicans proposed legislation Thursday that would add new voter ID requirements and roll back mail voting in the state’s elections.

The bill faces a difficult path to passage: The state’s Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf said Wednesday that he would oppose such restrictions, and the bill requires his signature to be enacted.

The legislation is being pushed by Republicans who sought to undermine the results of the 2020 election last year, publicly urging Congress not to certify the state’s election results on January 6.

If passed, House Bill 1300 would require voters to show photo ID at the polls and eliminate the mail voting list that sends certain voters their ballots ahead of each election. It would also require Pennsylvanians to register to vote 30 days before the election, instead of 15.

The bill’s lead sponsor is Republican state Rep. Seth Grove. He organized and signed a December letter to Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation urging them to object to the certification of Pennsylvania’s 2020 results. Biden won the state by more than 80,000 votes.

Since the election, House Republicans have hosted months of hearings about election processes and voter fraud, despite broad evidence that there is no widespread voter fraud in U.S. elections.

Pennsylvania’s Republican House Speaker Bryan Cutler championed the bill in a press release. Cutler also signed the December letter and was reportedly urged in phone calls by former President Donald Trump to “fix” issues in the state’s election last year.

“Pennsylvanians must have faith in their elections, and this bill is another piece of restoring the public’s trust,” Cutler said in the release.

Trump’s stolen election lie has inspired legislation across the country, as Republican lawmakers introduce or advance hundreds of restrictive election bills that would make it harder to vote. At least 22 bills have been enacted, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, which has been tracking voting legislation.

The Pennsylvania bill also includes a number of voting expansions, most likely aimed at earning the support of the Democratic governor. Republicans do not have veto-proof majorities in the state Legislature.

The expansive provisions of the bill include creating five days of early in-person voting starting in 2025 and allowing drop boxes.

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