Department of State Refuses to Engage on Bipartisan Election Reform

HARRISBURG – The Senate State Government Committee held a hearing today reviewing potential election reforms that could gain bipartisan support, according to Senator David G. Argall (R-Berks/Schuylkill), who chaired the hearing.  The Department of State, once again, refused to participate, continuing a pattern that’s plagued several of Governor Wolf’s five different Secretaries of the Commonwealth.

“The Governor’s slogan is that this is a ‘Government that Works.’  A more accurate description would be that this is a government that doesn’t even show up,” said Senator Argall during his closing remarks.

“It is far past time for the Department in charge of Pennsylvania’s elections to engage in these conversations instead of avoiding them like the plague.  I am hopeful that the next time we extend an invitation to the Department – and I promise you, there will be a next time – they actually show up.”

The committee heard testimony from the Bipartisan Policy Center and the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania.  Both groups noted the importance of elections that are fair, secure, and accessible.  Testimony can be reviewed on the State Government Committee’s website.

“Despite the Department of State’s continued absence, Senator Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia) and I remain committed to making updates to the election code that can receive support from both sides of the aisle,” Senator Argall stated.  “We heard testimony today that will be invaluable as we continue to vet options for this important legislation.”

As the Bipartisan Policy Center noted in their testimony, “there is an urgent need for this reform.  To have a successful and trusted election in 2024, Pennsylvania must lay the groundwork for impactful election legislation as soon as possible.”

Contact: Jim Brugger

717.787.2637