Heritage Action Slams Gov. Wolf for Election Integrity Bill Veto: ‘A Partisan Attack on Election Security’

Gov. Tom Wolf speaks at an event at the Capitol to discuss increases in public school fund
AP Photo/Marc Levy

Heritage Action blasted Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) for vetoing an election integrity bill, which would have required voters to present a valid ID prior to voting, slamming the move as a “partisan attack on election security.”

“This is nothing more than a partisan attack on election security,” Heritage Action Executive Director Jessica Anderson said in a statement ahead of Wolf’s veto.

“Voter ID requirements are a common-sense first step to protecting our elections. They are supported by 74 percent of Pennsylvania voters,” she continued, accusing Wolf of “destroying election integrity against the will of Pennsylvanians.”

“The legislature is right to pursue an amendment to institute a mandatory voter ID requirement, a basic election safeguard,” she added.

Wolf rejected the measure, HB 1300, on Wednesday, which would have required individuals to show a valid ID to vote. It also would have moved up the deadlines for both voter registration and vote-by-mail applications and limited the use of ballot drop boxes.

“While the bill includes some potential areas of improvement — such as giving counties more time to pre-canvass, increasing poll worker pay, and expanding the use of electronic poll books — the legislation is incurably riddled with unacceptable barriers to voting,” Wolf wrote in his formal rejection, citing voter ID and mail-in voting requirements, among others.

“The bill is ultimately not about improving access to voting or election security, but about restricting the freedom to vote,” he continued, warning the legislation would “threaten to disrupt election administration, undermine faith in government, and invite costly time-consuming, and destabilizing litigation.”

Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R) and Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward (R) sharply criticized the governor’s veto in a joint statement Wednesday.

“The people of our Commonwealth have made it clear that they want an election system they can believe in,” they said, citing statewide polling showing 74 percent of citizens voicing their support for voter ID:

The Voter Right Protection Act that passed both chambers of the General Assembly reflects the legislative branch’s work to identify and fix flaws in our election system, and ensures no voter would be disenfranchised by ensuring every single legal voter in the state would receive a qualifying voter ID under the bill – free of charge.  The process included review of best practices in multiple states including red, blue, and purple states, as well as many bipartisan hearings that were held over several months.  The recommendations and changes identified in these hearings are all reflected in this important piece of legislation.

Wolf, they added, opted to “defend the national democrats party line and kowtow to special interests by crying foul to voter suppression in the media rather than rolling up his shirt sleeves and coming to the table for the people of Pennsylvania” and provide meaningful input on the measure.

“Today’s veto by Governor Wolf of the Voter Rights Protection Act is an out-of-touch move that goes against the majority of Pennsylvanians, including members of his own party,” they said.

A March National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) poll found over three-quarters of likely voters support requiring an individual to present a valid photo ID prior to voting. Similarly, a HEP and HEP Action survey released that same month showed a majority of black and Hispanic voters overwhelmingly support basic voter ID requirements.


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