The Pennsylvania House GOP is planning on running House Bill 29 today, which would allow out of county poll watchers to show up at your local polling place this November. Under current Pennsylvania law, poll watchers are only allowed oversee the polls in the county they reside in. The bill breezed through the State Government Committee with 23 yes votes and zero no votes back in June. State Representative Rick Saccone – the prime sponsor – wants to change that stating “many of the Commonwealth’s elections have statewide and federal implications, which mean Pennsylvania’s registered voters, regardless of location, have a vested interest in ensuring that the electoral process is properly administered in every election district.” Saccone also admits in his legislation that many House and Senate districts encompass multiple counties and those living inside their districts should be able to watch the polls throughout the whole entire district.
That reason or voter ignorance is probably why it got the support of all of Democrats on the committee, but this comes at an odd time, given that we’re less than 50 days from an important national election. The bill would take effect 60 days after it would be signed by Governor Wolf – if it would be signed – but State Representative Moul has an amendment that would make this bill law as soon as it is signed. Last month, Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump claimed that the only way Hillary Clinton would win Pennsylvania was through massive voter fraud and given how Trump rallies have been synonymous with modern day Klan rallies, this bill would allow Trump supporters from around the state to “watch” over the polls in minority communities throughout the state.