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Pennsylvania Republicans Propose New Voter Identification Law, Void Voting By Mail

Pennsylvania Republicans on Thursday proposed legislation that would add new voter identification requirements and cancel postal voting in state elections.

The bill faces a difficult path to passage: Democratic state governor Tom Wolf on Wednesday said he would oppose such restrictions, and the bill requires his signature to be adopted.

The legislation is being pushed by Republicans who sought to undermine the 2020 election results last year, publicly urging Congress not to certify the state’s Jan.6 election results.

If passed, Bill 1300 would require voters to present photo ID at polling stations and eliminate the mail-in ballot list that sends certain voters their ballots before each election. It would also require Pennsylvanians to register to vote 30 days before the election, instead of 15.

The main sponsor of the bill is Republican State Representative Seth Grove. He organized and signed a December letter to the Pennsylvania congressional delegation urging them to oppose the certification of Pennsylvania’s 2020 results. Biden won the state by more than 80,000 votes.

Since the election, House Republicans have held months of hearings on electoral processes and voter fraud, despite ample evidence that there is no widespread voter fraud in U.S. elections.

Pennsylvania Republican House Speaker Bryan Cutler defended the bill in a press release. Cutler also signed the December letter and was reportedly urged in phone calls by former President Donald Trump to “fix” the problems in the state’s election last year.

“Pennsylvanians need to have confidence in their elections, and this bill is another piece to restore public confidence,” Cutler said in the statement.

Trump’s stolen election lie has inspired legislation across the country, as Republican lawmakers introduce or advance hundreds of restrictive election bills that would make voting more difficult. At least 22 bills have been enacted, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, which has monitored the voting legislation.

The Pennsylvania bill also includes a number of voting extensions, most likely aimed at winning the support of the Democratic governor. Republicans do not have a veto-proof majority in the state legislature.

The bill’s extended provisions include the creation of five days of in-person early voting from 2025 and the authorization of drop boxes.

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