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Contact: Prudence Robertson, (240) 672-2828 

Wolf Recently Vetoed Ballot Integrity Measures Overwhelmingly Supported by PA Voters

Washington, D.C. In a sudden reversal, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf this week stated he is no longer opposed to changing state voter I.D. laws. Wolf has long-opposed voter I.D. protections helping ensure that every legal vote can be counted fairly and openly in more secure, transparent, and accountable Pennsylvania elections, but he now says he is open to changing the state’s voter I.D. laws for absentee voting.

“I’m sure out there is a reasonable voter I.D. solution to say … you need to show that you should be voting here,” Wolf told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “And I’m fine with that.”

State Rep. Seth Grove, author of the Voting Rights Protection Act (H.B. 1300) passed by the General Assembly but recently vetoed by Wolf, reacted:

“I’m dumbfounded, I’m literally dumbfounded. Unbelievable. The Governor had an opportunity to negotiate an election bill. He hasn’t come to the table and had a discussion,” said Grove.

The Voting Rights Protection Act contained common-sense voter I.D. provisions which are “more flexible than many other I.D. mandates and would have required officials to provide free voter I.D. cards and accept signed affidavits if a voter doesn’t have I.D. at the polls,” the Inquirer reported.

On June 30, Wolf vetoed the comprehensive voter integrity legislation, stating:

“[I] just vetoed House Bill 1300. I made it clear I wouldn’t sign a bill that creates barriers to voting. But that’s exactly what this bill does … House Bill 1300 was the latest scheme by Republican legislators to suppress your freedom to vote.”

National Chairman of the Election Transparency Initiative and former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli commented:

“It’s as if Wolf called tails at the coin toss and now has the audacity to ask for the ball back. Now more than ever, it should be exceedingly clear to Pennsylvanians of all parties, races, and voting groups that Governor Tom Wolf can’t be trusted to tell the truth, to operate in good faith, and to put people before politics. Wolf understands that his constituents support widely popular, common-sense voter I.D. protections inspiring confidence in a system where it’s easy to vote and hard to cheat, but by vetoing voter integrity and then attempting to walk it back for polling purposes, he’s sacrificed his own integrity. This is a record neither he nor Attorney General Josh Shapiro can run from.

“Voter I.D. protections will protect the right for every legitimate vote to be counted fairly and openly. We urge the General Assembly to remain determined in their effort to send a constitutional amendment directly to the people, bypassing a governor who can’t be trusted to deliver secure, transparent, and accountable elections when they are needed most.”

In June, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) praised the governor’s veto of the Voting Rights Protection Act:

“It’s because we have Democrat Governor Tom Wolf in the Governor’s office that their voter suppression legislation won’t become law. His veto pen will stop this bill — and we’ve got to hold onto that veto pen,” Shapiro said.

The Voting Rights Protection Act would increase voter access and help bolster fair and transparent elections in Pennsylvania. The bill contained key provisions overwhelmingly supported by Pennsylvania voters. According to the latest Franklin & Marshall College poll, 81% of respondents favor signature matching for mail-in ballots, including 88% of Independents and 64% of Democrats. Photo identification requirements are favored by 74% of respondents, including 77% of Independents.

Recent polling shows the majority of voters, including Black and Hispanic as well as urban and independent voters, overwhelmingly support voter I.D. protections and want it to be easy to vote and hard to cheat.

The Election Transparency Initiative, a partnership between American Principles Project (APP) and the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List), was organized to combat H.R. 1/S. 1 and advocate for state-based election reforms that voters can trust.