The Next Democratic Governor’s First Push Should Be Voting Access

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Tom Corbett’s choice not to appeal the Voter ID decision means that we’ve hit the low water mark for voting access in this state.

That’s because the 2010 elections were the high water mark for Republican power in Pennsylvania, and any move toward the Democrats will result in more voting access, not less.

It may take a few sessions to actually pass these reforms, but all the Democrats for Governor are on board with same-day registration, online registration, early voting periods in the weekends leading up to Election Days, and wider use of absentee balloting.

I would recommend picking a big fight over these reforms as soon as the Democratic Governor is sworn in. Let’s make this the first big fight of 2015.

You often see Republicans do something similar, where they spend political capital early on process reforms that grow Republican power before they get to other things. Try to do the voting reforms first, then education funding formula, then Medicaid expansion before heading into the first budget season.

 

This entry was posted in Elections, Governor.

8 Responses to The Next Democratic Governor’s First Push Should Be Voting Access

  1. Doug Webster says:

    Would that it were that easy. Any Democratic governor is still going to have to deal with a GOP Legislature and getting meaningful legislation passed of any kind is going to be a struggle whether it is Voting, health care expansion, education or fracking industry fees.

    • Jon Geeting says:

      Yeah but they’ll get a few things done during the honeymoon period, and voting reforms should get the priority during that period.

  2. David Diano says:

    We also want to make it easier for Independent candidates to run and get on the ballot

  3. Jon Geeting says:

    I support fusion voting because it doesn’t weaken the power of party politics, which is very useful for accountability, but it does help bring outside views into the parties. Working Families Party in NY is the best example.

    In a first past the post voting system, I like a high bar to third party ballot access, and closed primaries.

    • Seth Warren says:

      I agree with you regarding closed primaries, but I’m not onboard with fusion voting. I’d much prefer instant run-off voting and equality in ballot access. As far as I’m concerned the Democratic-Republican duopoly needs to be broken.

  4. Sean Sullivan, Democratic Candidate for PA House District 175, supports increased access to voting and better protection for voters’ rights. You can read more about his platform here: http://www.sullivan4pa.com/voting_rights.

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  6. With Pennsylvania’s aging electronic voting machines now nearing 10 years of use, it will be during the next Governor’s term that many counties will have to begin the process of replacement. We MUST avoid a repeat of the fiasco that happened in 2006 when voting machine companies pushed whatever snake oil crap they could in order to grab a chunk of the taxpayer dollars that were available under the Help America Vote Act for purchase of new voting systems. The result was that many counties were sold voting machines that were poorly designed, cheaply made, and completely unverifiable — and 85% of Pennsylvania’s votes STILL cannot be meaningfully audited or recounted today. There will likely be no federal money available for the next round of voting machine purchases, and how this goes will depend a lot on whether or not the next Governor takes elections (and especially election equipment) seriously.