Frankel says Wolf made difficult but right choice to veto bill

Calls on legislature to make voting machine money available to counties

PITTSBURGH, July 5 – Today state Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, said he supports Gov. Tom Wolf’s decision to veto a Senate bill which, while it provided money to counties for upgraded voting machines, would have made voting more difficult in Pennsylvania.

In response to Wolf’s decision, Frankel issued the following statement:

“Today, Governor Wolf was forced to veto a bill that purported to help pay for new voting machines that Pennsylvania desperately needs. But what the bill would have actually done is delay the replacement of those machines by wrapping the process up in red tape. What’s more, a last-minute provision added after Senate passage would have removed a well-liked and frequently used option from the ballot: Straight party voting.

“Currently languishing in committee, we have at least a half dozen bills that would help make it possible for all Pennsylvanians who want to vote to have a say, even if they don’t have a flexible schedule or they have mobility issues or they don’t know to make a special trip to register months ahead of the election.

“Because the easier we make it to vote, the more people will do it, and the more our state government will reflect the needs and hopes and life experiences of the people of Pennsylvania. 

“But instead of addressing any of those measures, Republican leaders added a poison pill to must-pass legislation to take away a voluntary option that makes it faster and easier for some people to vote. It’s baffling. 

“When legislators return in the fall, we will need to work quickly to get counties the money they need to upgrade our election equipment and ensure that our elections are protected from hackers. I stand with our governor, ready to make that happen.”

Earlier this year House and Senate Democrats unveiled a slate of bills to modernize voting in Pennsylvania, including automatic voter registration, no excuse absentee voting, same day voter registration and campaign finance reform.