– Rep. Matt Dowling (R-Fayette/Somerset) issued this statement following his participation in the House State Government Committee’s first hearing on the state’s election laws:
“Many Pennsylvanians have lost faith in our elections, and as elected officials, we in the General Assembly – and frankly, in the governor’s office – have a responsibility to hear the concerns of our constituents and act to restore their faith not only in our elections but in our government as well. Today’s hearing is an important step in that direction.
“I questioned Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar about the department’s use of official ‘guidance’ and emailed information in the days and weeks leading up to the election. The volume of information, especially the directives issued at the last-minute, caused a great deal of confusion for voters and heightened the challenges already facing our election officials. This confusion resulted in counties not handling or counting the ballots in the same way. Contrary to state election law, signatures on mail-in ballots were not verified. Drop boxes, which are not authorized in state law, were used without clear and consistent security measures across the state. We were right to modernize elections in the state with Act 77
– including allowing for mail-in voting – but the law was distorted by the administration, causing chaos and ultimately leading people to lose confidence in the integrity of the process.
“Free and fair elections are a cornerstone of our Commonwealth. This should not be a partisan issue. I hope we can work together across party lines to restore the public’s faith in our electoral process.”
The committee has scheduled more than a dozen hearings in the weeks ahead to assess various elements of the state’s election laws and practices. The topic of the next hearing, scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 28, will be the SUIRE (Statewide Uniform Registry of Electors) system and other election-related information technology.
Representative Matthew Dowling
51st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Patricia Hippler