Burns votes to ensure election integrity by requiring voter ID
‘We need to make sure people who vote are who they say they are’
HARRISBURG, June 22 – Believing that its voter ID requirement is the best way to guarantee election integrity while simultaneously allaying fears of fraud, state Rep. Frank Burns today voted in favor of the Voting Rights Protection Act.
Burns, D-Cambria, said while H.B. 1300 would also give counties the option to use secure mail-in ballot drop boxes during specific times and at secure locations – and would require signature verification for mail-in-ballots – its main draw for him was the requirement that voters show ID at the polls,
“I’m the guy who has long lobbied for putting recipients’ photos on ACCESS cards to create greater accountability in our public welfare programs, so why wouldn’t I support voter ID to restore people’s faith in something as critical as the election process?” Burns said. “We need to make sure that people who vote are who they say they are. During these turbulent times, members of both political parties should want to do all they can to beef up the public’s trust in government.”
In support of his position, Burns pointed to recent polling that showed more than 70 percent of registered voters in Pennsylvania want ID at the polls, while more than 80 percent said signatures on mail-in ballots should be required to match what’s on file at county election offices.
“When we passed our last major election update a few years ago, none of us could have foreseen the pandemic or the challenges it would pose,” Burns said. “Today’s vote is all about addressing those challenges, making some needed improvements and letting folks know that when they cast a ballot, their legitimate vote will count – and illegitimate ones will not.”
Burns broke party ranks with his vote today, and said he expects some criticism from inside and outside Harrisburg, but added that he takes solace in knowing that he once again made an independent decision.
“I’m not a pawn in anybody else’s game. I vote for what I think is best for the people I represent, and my conscience is at ease knowing I did that today,” Burns said.