Possible Good News in PA

There are some signs PA’s legislature and Governor might be moving toward a compromise that would permit election officials to start processing absentees before Election Day. Far from a done deal, but some positives signs and I’ve heard the local papers have stories on this issue every day now:

From Spotlight PA:

With a partisan logjam holding up election reforms in the Pennsylvania legislature, lawmakers are making one final push to fix what county officials across the state say is the number one issue standing in the way of a timely counting of votes.

Facing an unprecedented deluge of potentially millions of mail-in and absentee ballots, county election officials are currently prevented from beginning to process any of them until Nov. 3. As a result, it could take many days after the election for them to finalize an accurate tally.

County commissioners for months have pleaded for more flexibility to begin the process in advance, a practice known as “pre-canvassing.”

“That’s our main need from the legislature right now on this,” Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar said Wednesday at a news conference. “So far, it seems like all or nearly all of the largest counties that I’ve spoken with so far are planning to count 24/7.”

Now, with the election fast approaching, one House Democrat, Kevin Boyle, has introduced new legislation solely focused on pre-canvassing, giving counties a 10-day window before Nov. 3. . .

“There’s no reason that we can’t come to an agreement,” Boyle (D., Philadelphia) said, “unless — and I think with every passing day it’s looking more and more likely that this is the case — the Republicans don’t want additional pre-canvassing time for counties because it would not serve their political ends.”

House Republicans this week participated in a call to discuss granting counties four or five days to pre-canvass ballots, the Associated Press first reported.

Rep. Russ Diamond (R., Lebanon), who sits on a key committee and participated in the call, told Spotlight PA that lawmakers discussed amending an election bill that has advanced to the Senate to provide for pre-canvassing as well as instituting additional requirements to physically secure drop boxes.

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