Bipartisan enthusiasm for election-reform legislation appeared solid at a Pennsylvania Senate State Government Committee hearing on Thursday, save for one part: video live-streaming of mail-in-ballot counting.
Elements of the bill, sponsored by Sen. David Argall (R-PA-Pottsville) and Sen. Sharif Street (D-PA-Philadelphia), have arisen largely from recommendations in a June 2021 report by the Senate Special Committee on Election Integrity and Reform. Argall and Street’s proposal excludes some of the ad hoc panel’s more contentious ideas, particularly enhanced voter-identification rules, which Rep. Seth Grove (R-PA-York) is spearheading in separate legislation. (While Gov. Tom Wolf [D] vetoed Grove’s bill in June, the representative has reintroduced it in light of the governor’s subsequent remarks in favor of a strengthened voter-ID requirement.)
Georgia’s Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a bill Monday aimed at making elections more secure, specifically in the way of absentee voting.
House Bill 531 passed Monday with a 97-72 vote, and along with sweeping reforms related to absentee voting, strips the Secretary of State from his role as chairman of the State Elections Board. That person will, if the bill passes and is signed into law, be chosen by the General Assembly.
Georgia residents who vote absentee in future elections would have to produce photocopies of their identification before they could vote, according to a bill that state legislators will soon consider. State Sen. Jason Anavitarte (R-Dallas), the sponsor, did not return The Georgia Star News’ request for comment Friday.
According to Congressman Austin Scott (R-GA-08), Georgia’s absentee ballot system has compromised election integrity.
In an interview with The Star, Scott explained that Georgia couldn’t sustain election integrity with these sudden, vast expansions of absentee ballot voting. Especially since those ballots don’t require photo identification.
The 2020 election outcomes revealed a telling political trajectory occurring in Virginia and the nation. Final tallies indicated that Republicans’ future chances of winning in the state may be ever-slimming. A consistent theme across the board – Republicans fell short with the unprecedented number of absentee voters.
Although Republicans increased their presidential vote totals from 2016 by about 185,000, Democrats increased their votes by nearly 400,000. In every election since 2008, Democratic candidates had only enjoyed about a 10,000 vote increase per year.
With Tuesday’s voter registration deadline having now passed, the Commonwealth is entering the final stretches before the general elections in November and Virginians have been feverishly casting their votes with nearly 1 million in-person and absentee ballots already submitted.
Specifically, 532,983 in-person votes and 444,390 votes by mail have already been cast in the state with an additional 642,687 absentee ballot applications that have not yet been returned to general registrars, according to the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP) early voting dashboard.