Don’t mess around with right to vote

I used mail-in voting as laid out in Act 77 of 2019 to vote in the primary this year and was pleased at the ease and efficiency of my local Bedford County Board of Elections in administering this new legislation.

Rep. John Joyce and his cohorts were obviously upset that so many people could vote so efficiently without having to risk their health and well being to go to the polls.

Joyce became a named plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging the Bedford and Blair County Board of Elections as well as all the other county election boards in Pennsylvania.

This suit has already cost you and me and all the other taxpayers a good chunk of change and, although on hold, it is not over.

Now, the powers that be that do not want you and I to be happy, unstressed voters, have introduced and passed House Bill 2626, which makes major changes to the original mail-in voting legislation that include allowing non-county people and attorneys to come into a county and act as poll watchers and watchers as the county tallies those ballots that were mailed in.

It limits how the mail-in ballots can be returned other than by USPS mail (which we have recently experienced as slowing down to a crawl).

It imposes terrible record keeping burdens on the county boards and creates multiple notice requirements that have caused the counties to have to hold up on sending ballots for printing just two weeks before they are due to begin being mailed.

While there are undoubtedly things that need to be tweaked as mail-in voting becomes the norm, now is not the time.

The current bill to make such major changes is, to me, simply an attempt to create chaos and confusion in a time when certainty and clarity are desperately needed. Unfortunately, it has passed the House and will now go to the Senate.

I urge everyone to contact your state senators and tell them to vote against this bill at this time.

Linda Gunn



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