While Republican lawmakers continue to fight mail-in voting and ballot drop boxes, a Democratic state lawmaker has introduced a bill allowing a spouse or relative to return a voter’s ballot.
Democratic state Rep. Michael Schlossberg (Lehigh) introduced a bill this week to allow a spouse or blood relative to return the ballot of a family member registered at the same address. The bill was referred to the House State Government committee.
“If a family member can pick up a prescription for a loved one, they should be able to help them cast a legal ballot,” Schlossberg said in a statement.
Whether or not family members can drop of ballots got attention after Gov. Tom Wolf’s wife dropped off his ballot for him in 2021.
Mail-in and absentee voting is secure, Schlossberg said. County election boards in the commonwealth ensure ballots are distributed to qualified voters and can make sure voters do not cast multiple ballots, he said.
“Since vote-by-mail was approved with overwhelming bipartisan support, including near-universal Republican support, Republicans have resisted attempts to make corrections to issues which make effective implementation possible,” Schlossberg said. “This is common-sense. Helping people is a part of American life. Unnecessary red-tape does nothing more than make it more difficult to vote.”
Republicans soured on mail-in voting in 2020 after then-President Donald Trump began baselessly attacking it as rife with fraud and, later, claiming without evidence that the election was stolen from him in critical battleground states including Pennsylvania.
The use of ballot drop boxes throughout the state has been a point of contention with Republican lawmakers who are behind restrictive election reform bills and a sham audit of the 2020 election.