We are disappointed by the Governor’s veto of Senate Bill 48 which would have made important election reforms as well as a systematic way to replace voting machines.
Over a year ago, Governor Wolf, without consulting counties or the legislature, unilaterally announced that he planned to decertify all election voting machines and require counties to purchase new ones. At that time, the Governor indicated that he was going to provide counties 50% of the funding necessary to replace the machines but in reality only allocated 10% in his proposed budget.
Senate Bill 48 created an orderly process for decertifying voting machines which would include public input, require justification for the decertification and the publication of estimated costs to the replacement of voting machines. The legislation also provided up to 60% of the funding for new voting machines for counties. The Governor’s decision to decertify the machines while vetoing a methodical process including a way to fund the new machines has placed counties and taxpayers in a financial predicament.
The vetoed legislation also included cost saving reforms involving the process that determines the number of ballots that are needed to be printed in advance of an election. Senate Bill 48 also eliminated straight party voting, an idea that was introduced by Democratic Senator Boscola and passed the full Senate with bi-partisan support.
We urge the Governor to re-consider his actions and work with the legislature so we can create a common sense solution to a problem he created through his call to decertify all voting machines in Pennsylvania.