“Shortly, we intend to introduce legislation repealing the no-excuse mail-in ballot provisions enacted in Act 77 of 2019,” state Sens. Patrick Stefano and Doug Mastriano said in a Jan. 21 memorandum.
“By removing the provisions of law that allow for no-excuse mail-in ballots, we can regain some trust in our elections’ integrity,” they added. “Faith in our election process is crucial to our democracy. We remain hopeful that this initiative, and any additional legislative changes that will come forward from our hearings, will once again restore confidence in our democracy and shine a light into the shadow of doubt that has been cast over Americans’ most democratic process.”
The senators stated that Gov. Tom Wolf (D) and Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar (D), as well as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which has a 5-2 Democratic majority, had taken advantage of mail-in voting and “usurped legislative power to set the conditions for an election result in their political interest.”
“Their actions were a direct attack on the legislature’s power to set the time, place, and manner of holding elections, as granted by the U.S. and Pennsylvania Constitutions,” the senators continued. “These actions taken in the last moments leading up to the election were inconsistent and questionable, and were not the legislature’s intent when passing Act 77.”
Wolf in October 2019 signed Act 77, a law which creates a new option to vote by mail without being required to provide any form of excuse, which was required up until then for people using absentee ballots. A news release from Wolf’s office at the time called the effort one that made voting “more convenient and secure.”
Pennsylvania was among the six battleground states where election results were contested for weeks following the Nov. 4, 2020 general election. Then-President Donald Trump, Republicans, and other third parties all alleged that there were widespread voting irregularities and potential fraud, as well as unconstitutional changes to voting laws prior to the election.
Pennsylvania Republican State Senator Doug Mastriano who represents Adam County and parts of Cumberland, Franklin and York Counties in the Senate, is partnering with Senator Patrick Stefano of the 32nd District to introduce the legislation. The announcement was also sent out as a memorandum to senators on Thursday.
The senator tweeted on Thursday his plans to introduce legislation to repeal "no-excuse" mail-in voting.
Georgia was also among the contested states. Its secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, backed fellow Republicans in December 2020 in calling to end no-excuse voting, claiming that it “opens the door to potential illegal voting, especially in light of the federal rules that deny us the ability to keep voter lists, registration files, clean.”