It has been nearly 11 months since the 2020 election and Pennsylvania’s election system is still being dragged through the mud to prove an unprovable point.
Days after a “forensic audit” in Arizona’s largest county showed that Joe Biden won by more votes in last year’s presidential election than initial audited counts, Pennsylvania lawmakers proposed sweeping changes to the state’s elections without any real proof or reason to do so. It comes on the heels of their continued push for another audit of Pennsylvania’s election.
Now the reform comes as a constitutional amendment, which means a governor would have no power to veto changes.
The latest proposal would mandate additional voter ID requirements, including requiring the signature of someone voting by mail to be matched to their signature on file and voters to provide a government-issued ID every time before they vote.
Now voters would also have to show ID only when voting in a particular precinct for the first time.
Democrats have long resisted stricter voting ID laws, in part because they say such rules can take away the right to vote for some and there is no long-term, widespread record of voting fraud in the commonwealth.
Pennsylvania is a long way from these attempts to limit voter access. A reminder: For the state constitution to be amended, an identical proposal must pass both chambers of the state Legislature in consecutive two-year sessions. It would then go to voters in a statewide referendum. That means the earliest the measure could be in front of voters is 2023.
In the meantime, state lawmakers continue to seek a redundant “forensic audit” of the 2020 presidential election results as a way to remain in the good graces of the GOP’s maestro in Mar-A-Lago.
Will it be worth a cost likely to extend into the millions of dollars? Is it worth handing over the personal information of millions of voters with the promise of privacy?
In Arizona, it cost nearly $6 million to prove that Joe Biden won in Maricopa County. According to Reuters, Arizona Senate President Karen Fann, a Republican, said “the review’s overall vote tally matched the initial results in November. Truth is truth, numbers are numbers” at a hearing on the review which found 99 additional votes for Biden and 261 fewer votes for Trump. “Those numbers were close, within a few hundred.”
Former President Donald Trump lost Pennsylvania by 80,000 votes last year; he lost Arizona by 10,000.
A review of the how and why behind last-minute changes in the counting process seems justifiable, with the Department of State sending out new instruction days and even hours before ballots were counted last November.
The voting process, however — including election law changes supported by Republicans in 2019 — worked, as it always does.
NOTE: Opinions expressed in The Daily Item’s editorials are the consensus of the publisher, top newsroom executives and community members of the editorial board. Today’s was written by Managing Editor Bill Bowman.