Wolf, Republicans at odds over Pennsylvania election law

02 Sep 2020 | 02:14

Pennsylvania. (AP) Gov. Tom Wolf and Republican state lawmakers remain at odds over how to update Pennsylvania’s voting laws to handle an expected avalanche of mail-in ballots in November’s presidential election in the battleground state. The June 2 primary election saw thousands of mailed-in ballots arrive after the Election Day-deadline and counting in some areas drag on for days. In part, Wolf, a Democrat, called for lawmakers to allow counties to begin processing mail-in ballots three weeks before the election and to require them to count ballots that arrive up to three days after the Nov. 3 election, as long as they are postmarked by Election Day. Republicans oppose counting mail-in ballots that arrive after the election. To minimize late-arriving ballots, Senate Republicans are seeking to shorten the deadline to request a mail-in ballot, from one week to 15 days before the election. Democrats oppose that. Instead of allowing ballot processing to start 21 days before the election, Senate Republicans support a three-day head start. Without action, courts may settle some of these issues. The Senate GOP’s legislation carries other poison pills for Democrats. It lifts the county residency restriction on who may observe at the polls. But Democrats say that opens the door to voter intimidation at the polls. It also limits the locations where voters can deliver mail-in ballots by hand to a county courthouse, permanent election offices and polling places Trump’s campaign is also suing to outlaw drop boxes.