HARRISBURG – York County Republican legislators are accusing Gov. Tom Wolf of heeding party wishes over the needs of Pennsylvania’s cash-strapped counties by vetoing much-needed election reform legislation today. Wolf’s decision to reject Senate Bill 48 kills efforts to help local governments with the cost of the 2020 election – after he unilaterally decertified all of the state’s voting machines – and do away with the antiquated straight-party voting option at polling places.
Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-28) and state House members Reps. Seth Grove (R-Dover), Dawn Keefer (R-Dillsburg), Kate Klunk (R-Hanover), Mike Jones (R-York Township) and House Appropriations Committee Majority Chairman Stan Saylor (R-Red Lion) issued the following statement upon learning of Wolf’s decision:
“Gov. Wolf originally sent local governments scrambling with his threat to decertify existing voting machines without offering a viable plan to fund an alternative system. His defeat of Senate Bill 48 hints of ‘bait and switch’ when it comes to relieving much of the burden Pennsylvania counties now face in footing the bill for the 2020 Presidential election. Cost conscious county commissioners were right to expect a significant level of assistance from Harrisburg. The governor first offered a meager 10%. The General Assembly passed legislation that would have accounted for 60% of the cost, and Wolf said no. County governments now face some difficult financial decisions in order to provide a safe and secure voting system for next year’s election.
“Senate Bill 48 would have also eliminated the outdated practice of straight-party voting, thus requiring citizens to choose individual candidates over collective parties. A similar piece of legislation was originally authored by a Democrat state senator and passed the Senate with a bi-partisan vote.
“National opposition to the straight-party option among Democrats is no secret. We are one of the last states to include this in voting booths, because most of the rest of the country realizes how unnecessary it is. The example our governor is setting with his veto pen demonstrates his allegiance to party needs over Pennsylvania’s needs.”