Sep. 27, 2021

HARRISBURG – Seeking to further modernize, enhance and secure Pennsylvania’s elections, the House State Government Committee today approved an amended version of the Voting Rights Protection Act, House Bill 1800, its sponsor, Chairman Seth Grove (R-York) said.

“The bill we approved today includes key bi-partisan amendments to further assist poll workers and voters at the polls.” Grove said. “The recent elections saw voters disenfranchised by long lines and, in some cases, polls running out of ballots in the 2021 primary election. The amendments address those issues to ensure poll workers have the tools to hold successful elections.” 

Three bipartisan provisions to further assist poll workers are included in the newest form of the bill. They would improve poll worker retention efforts, modernize polling location language and modernize the delivery of ballots and supplies to judges of elections. 

The comprehensive Voting Rights Protection Act is the result of 10 hearings on Pennsylvania’s election process, during which we heard time and again the need to fix flaws in our elections. Grove reintroduced the bill after Gov. Tom Wolf said he believes there is a need for enhanced voter identification requirements just a day after he vetoed the original legislation, House Bill 1300.

A voter identification requirement that all legally registered voters are issued new voter registration cards, that includes their picture and would have to be shown at polls, is carried over from the original bill. The bill would also regulate mail-in ballot drop boxes to ensure there is uniformity and oversight. 

The Voting Rights Protection Act would also require regular election audits; enhance certification processes for all machines used in elections; improve lists of registered voters; and conduct an audit of every election before results are certified. To enhance audits, an appropriation of $3.1 million to operate the Bureau of Election Audits is included in the new version of the bill, which is now before the full House for consideration. 

“It is extremely rare for the Legislature, and the governor, to essentially get a redo on a bill. I sincerely hope Wolf realizes this and takes full advantage of the situation to work with the legislative branch of government on this bill,” Grove said. “The Voting Rights Protection Act would uphold the integrity of, and restore faith in, our elections.”

Representative Seth Grove
196th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives