Republican gubernatorial candidate Lou Barletta said President Biden should use his trip to Pennsylvania on Tuesday to back voter ID and election security measures instead of pushing “partisan” bills that weaken states’ authority.
Mr. Barletta, a former congressman and early supporter of former President Donald Trump, is focusing on COVID-19 shutdowns and the debate over mail-in ballots as he tries to succeed Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, who is term-limited.
He tried to get the first word in before Mr. Biden visits Philadelphia to highlight the constitutional right to vote and support federal measures that would counteract state GOP efforts to tighten election procedures.
Mr. Barletta and fellow Republicans say the Democratic bills before Congress would take power away from the states and water down popular measures. He cited polls that show 80% support for ID requirements.
“Democrats do nothing but insult voters’ intelligence by claiming that people aren’t smart enough or capable enough to obtain proper identification,” Mr. Barletta said. “Until Biden and his fellow Democrats get serious about flaws in our election laws, most everything they say is pure partisan politics meant to give one party the edge over the other.”
Democrats say GOP-led states are passing election laws because they are sore over bruising losses in 2020 and want to keep certain blocs, including minorities, from the polls by tightening up mail-in options or wresting control of procedures from local officials.
Republican sponsors say they are responding to concerns over last year’s sudden expansion of mail-in ballots during the pandemic. They said the process is poorly monitored and the electorate needs assurances the process isn’t rigged.
“Joe Biden’s visit to Philadelphia is supposed to be about voting, but he has nothing reassuring to say to millions of Pennsylvanians who have lost faith in our electoral process,” Mr. Barletta said. “Democrats oppose a transparent examination of the chaos of 2020, but if the election was as pristine as they say, what are they afraid of?”
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