Davidson: House hearing shows clear safeguards in Pa. voter registration

HARRISBURG, March 4 – The House State Government Committee today heard about the vast protections put in place to ensure fraud-free elections in Pennsylvania and other states, according to the committee’s Democratic Chair Margo Davidson, D-Delaware.

In its fourth of 14 planned hearings on the settled 2020 election, the committee took testimony from Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose and representatives from the Electronic Registration Information Center, Lycoming County’s election board and the Department of State on voter registration.  

Davidson said the testimony revealed the great protections in Pennsylvania’s registration system and the detailed processes for keeping voter registration lists current.

“Ballot access is the single most American ideal Pennsylvania can provide to its citizens, yet the Republican majority has spent decades trying to prevent it from happening,” Davidson said. “New registration tools were put in place in 2019 and for the first time in a long time, people had more options and breathing room to exercise their constitutional right. But it worked so well that the GOP now wants to take it back.”  

She said questions from her Republican colleagues focused less on registration and more on obscure circumstances, like birth dates that don’t match up because of court orders protecting a voter’s identity, such as with protection from abuse orders. She said that if Republicans did not incite people to believe these normal anomalies could be called into question, they wouldn’t.

“In these hearings we’ve become accustomed to Republican legislators straining to find fraud, and today’s voter registration hearing was no exception,” Davidson said. “They are trying to find that ‘gotcha’ moment to discredit our elections and it just isn’t materializing. Pennsylvania’s 2020 election was free, fair and accurate and no question from these lawmakers is going to change that fact.

“In his testimony, Ohio’s secretary of state talked about having voter registration drives in barbershops, beauty shops and churches – all good things that also make sense for our state. Yet Republicans in Pennsylvania find exception to county election boards making satellite offices available to residents to register to vote during the middle of a pandemic. We can in fact make registering to vote easier and more accessible while maintaining the same level of security we have now. I look forward to continuing that fight for Pennsylvanians’ ballot access.”

As Democratic chair of the committee, Davidson leads House Democrats in working each day to ensure ballot access to all Pennsylvanians and to uncover the reality behind partisan and power-grabbing legislation being proposed by the majority.