Politics of elections snares Pennsylvania voting-machine aid
Steve Marcinkus, an Investigator with the Office of the City Commissioners, demonstrates the ExpressVote XL voting machine at the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia, Thursday, June 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
(Harrisburg) — Legislation to help Pennsylvania’s counties afford new voting machines before next year’s election is wrapped up in the politics of voting and election laws.
Gov. Tom Wolf said Monday that he’ll decide later in the week whether to sign or veto a bill that was opposed by the vast majority of his fellow Democrats in the state Legislature.
The bill passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature authorizes borrowing $90 million to help counties underwrite a total voting-machine replacement cost that could exceed $100 million.
Hours before it passed, Republicans added that provision to legislation that also eliminates the single ballot option for voters to select a straight-party ticket in elections.
Democrats say that’ll benefit Republicans in down-ballot legislative elections. Republicans say it’ll encourage voters to vote for candidates, not parties.