A new poll shows that Pennsylvania residents aren’t particularly happy with the state’s election, but can’t agree on how to change it.
And things only got worse after unfounded claims in the election after the last presidential election.
A poll by Franklin and Marshall College, published on Thursday, shows that more than half of registered voters are dissatisfied with the rules and procedures governing the conduct of elections to the Commonwealth – twice as many as in August 2020.
Burwood Yost, director of the Center for Public Opinion Research at Lancaster College, said those who were unhappy with the way the 2020 election went were likely to say they wanted to change the way candidates got on the ballot.
But now the biggest calls for change are laws on voter identification and the abolition of postal voting.
And, as expected, the poll revealed strong party and ideological differences in these views.
Voter Certificate Laws
There are 17 states that require photo IDs at polling stations. Pennsylvania is not one of them.
The poll found that the requirement to identify a person for voting was the most popular change that registered voters would like to accept. When asked to choose from a long list of possible changes in the way elections are conducted, 26% chose to comply with voter identification requirements.
This is significantly different from the August 2020 poll, which found that only 1% of respondents chose voter identification requirements as their top choice.
Pennsylvania Republicans introduced legislation requiring each voter to present an identity card at polling stations as part of a radical overhaul of the electoral system.
Representatives Mark Gilen, Barry Jozwiak, Jerry Knowles and Ryan Mackenzie – each representing part of Berks County – have signed up as supporters of the legislation.
Voting by mail
There are 34 states that allow any qualified voter to vote by mail without excuse. Pennsylvania is one of them.
The poll found that refusing to vote by mail was the second most frequently chosen choice on the list of potential changes in the election, with 19% saying it was the main change they would like to see.
This is significantly different from the August 2020 poll, which showed that 6% of respondents chose voting by mail as their top choice.
The bill was proposed by Franklin County Senator Doug Mastrian was introduced in Harrisburg to cancel the vote by mail without excuse. One of the co-authors of the legislation is Senator Bob Mens, who represents part of the Berks.
Pennsylvania is one of nine states with closed primaries, meaning more than 1.3 million voters who are not affiliated with the two major parties cannot vote for candidates in the spring election.
The poll found that 64% of registered voters are in favor of holding open primary elections in which independent voters could vote in the primary for the party they want, while 33% opposed the proposal. This support reflects a similar finding in the August 2020 survey.
The bill, which was proposed by Eri County Sen. Dan Laughlin, would allow independent voters to vote for Republicans and Democrats in the state primary. He will continue to require those registered in one of the main parties to vote on the relevant ballots.
Senators Judy Schwank and Katie Mutt, representing part of Berks, have signed up as supporters of the law.