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McClinton Proposes Election Day Voter Registration, Two Weeks of Voting

State House Speaker Joanna McClinton unveiled legislation at a Capitol news conference Tuesday to make it easier for Pennsylvanians to vote.

McClinton’s bill would allow registered Pennsylvania voters to vote early, in person, during the two weeks before Election Day. It would also allow same-day voter registration at polling locations the day of the election.

“Voting is at the core of our national identity and among our most valued rights as Americans,” said McClinton (D-Philadelphia). “Rather than spur distrust in our system and attack our dedicated election workers, we should look for ways to make the system accessible to more Pennsylvanians so their voices can be heard.

“Measures like these add convenience and security and have already been adopted in dozens of other states, including states with historic records of voter suppression like Florida and Georgia.”

However, her bill is likely to meet opposition from Republican lawmakers.

“We cannot properly register people to vote and administer elections on the current timelines in the law,” said House Republican Leader Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster). “This proposal does nothing to increase Pennsylvania’s election integrity and once again injects more partisanship and mixed messaging during a presidential election year.”

But Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman (R-Indiana) suggested a compromise could be on the horizon. “A lot can happen if we get Voter ID as a constitutional amendment.”

J. Christian Adams, founder of the Election Law Center and general counsel for the Public Interest Legal Foundation, is skeptical.

“Same day registration doesn’t provide enough time to validate eligibility,” said Adams. His organization promotes ballot security and is currently suing Pennsylvania to obtain information regarding the registration of foreign nationals at PennDOT offices for more than two decades.

McClinton said same-day voter registration would allow eligible Pennsylvanians to register when it’s most relevant and convenient—on Election Day. It would also enable real-time corrections to inaccurate voter rolls, strengthening the safety and security of the election system.

It seems to be working in New Hampshire, which holds the first presidential primary in the nation every four years.

“New Hampshire has had election day registration since 1993. It has worked well in our state, and has resulted in consistently high voter participation rates,” New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan told DVJournal.

McClinton says allowing two weeks of early in-person voting on machines would give Pennsylvanians with demanding work schedules or family responsibilities an opportunity to cast their vote at a time that works best for them. It would also decrease congestion at the busiest polling locations. Also, it would help seniors, especially those who use wheelchairs or walkers, allowing more time to accommodate their needs.

Pennsylvania Voice Executive Director Salewa Ogunmefun support these new voting rules.

“These commonsense reforms will not only make it more convenient for all Pennsylvanians to make their voices heard at the ballot box, they will also help make our elections more secure,” said Ogunmefun. “We couldn’t be happier that Speaker McClinton has decided to make this a priority and look forward to working with her to get them passed into law.”

“I vote. I want to vote. I believe it’s my civic duty to vote. But when life becomes challenging, so can voting,” said Angela Madera, a voter from Allentown. “There are so many people like me who have to overcome barriers simply to cast our ballot. It shouldn’t be that way. Voting is our right. Pennsylvanians are busier than ever. Work schedules and family commitments vary. Our voting system needs to accommodate these new realities and reflect the needs of today’s citizens. I’m so grateful to the speaker for standing up for voters like me.”

“In order to have elections that are fully accessible to all, the Commonwealth must implement policies that are mindful of the challenges people with disabilities encounter when trying to vote. The changes proposed are welcome expansions to voting access in Pennsylvania and individuals with disabilities will especially benefit from more flexible opportunities to vote,” said Jennifer Garman, director of government affairs for Disability Rights Pennsylvania.

McClinton’s legislation compliments voting changes implemented by the Shapiro administration in 2023, including automatic voter registration when people get their driver’s licenses or state identification cards and redesigning mail-in ballots.

Spokesperson Manuel Bonder said, “Gov. Josh Shapiro is supportive of these priorities and expanding voting opportunities for eligible Pennsylvanians as we continue working to ensure our elections are free, fair, safe, and secure. The Shapiro administration looks forward to continuing to work alongside Speaker McClinton on these priorities.”

“As the birthplace of American democracy, it’s time we offered Pennsylvanians more options to vote safely and conveniently, reduce the time people wait in line to cast a ballot and guarantee that every voter has enough time to exercise their right to participate in our elections. Every voice matters.” McClinton said.

The primary is on April 23. The last day to request a mail-in or absentee ballot is April 16.

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LUCAS: Biden’s Big Flip on Voter Fraud

In a recent White House proclamation, President Joe Biden called for Congress to pass the “Freedom to Vote Act,” which imposes national Election Day voter registration requirements, automatic voter registration, and mail-in voting requirements on states.

While researching my book, “The Myth of Voter Suppression: The Left’s Assault on Clean Elections,” I found a startling metamorphosis for Biden.

As president, Biden has joined his party in attacking common sense state election integrity laws such as voter ID, more accurate voter registration lists, and restrictions on ballot harvesting as “Jim Crow 2.0,” or as Biden put it, “Jim Eagle.”

Yet, as a senator, he was concerned about honest elections.

In 1977, Sen. Biden opposed a proposal backed by President Jimmy Carter to have same-day voter registration — a key part of the Senate Democrats’ “Freedom to Vote Act.”

“A reservation I have and one that is apparently shared by some of the top officials within the Department of Justice is that the president’s proposal could lead to a serious increase in vote fraud,” the Delaware senator said.

In 1989, Biden teamed with then-freshman Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky to co-sponsor the bipartisan Anti-Corruption Act.

“Current law does not permit prosecution of election fraud,” Biden said. “…This bill makes it a federal offense to corrupt any state or local election process.”

It’s not clear where Biden changed his mind. It seemed to happen when he was vice president and the Obama administration’s Department of Justice began suing states over voter ID laws.

“Why, without any proof of voter fraud, have 81 bills been introduced in state legislative bodies … to make it harder for people to vote?” the vice president said in a 2014 speech at Allen University in South Carolina.

No proof of voter fraud? Where’s the proof of voter suppression?

While there have assuredly been exaggerations and outright lies by sore losers over the years, there have been more than 1,300 proven and adjudicated voter fraud cases, numerous elections overturned, and politicians and operatives convicted of the crime. One of the biggest scams was a North Carolina congressional race outcome in 2018 voided after a Republican candidate won because of a voter fraud scam.

The same presidential proclamation last week claims “nearly 20 states passed laws to make it harder to vote — not only to suppress the vote but to subvert it.”

If that was the goal, states did a horrible job. Of states that passed election reform laws, Biden’s Department of Justice has sued Georgia, Texas, and Arizona. Georgia’s 2022 primary had a 168 percent increase in voter turnout from the comparable non-presidential Georgia primary of 2018. In Texas, turnout was 17.7 percent in 2022 compared to 17.2 percent in the 2018 primary. The 2022 Arizona primary had a record primary turnout of 35.12 percent, compared to the 33.3 percent turnout in 2018.

Humans are allowed to evolve in their views — particularly spanning 1977 to 2022. More recently, though, Biden has had some fairly compressed evolution.

In January, after House-passed federal election bills died of Senate filibusters, Biden sounded like he would be a preemptive election denier.

“I’m not going to say it’s going to be legit,” Biden said when asked about the 2022 midterms. “The increase and the prospect of being illegitimate is in direct proportion to us not being able to get these reforms passed.”

By September, when delivering his anti-MAGA speech in Philadelphia, Biden said, “Democracy cannot survive when one side believes there are only two outcomes to an election: either they win or they were cheated.”

It seems simple enough in this case. Biden supports federal voting legislation that would seemingly help Democrats and opposes state legislation that could help Republicans.

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