In a statement sent out by his Save America PAC, former president Donald Trump praised the recent passage of The Poll Watcher Empowerment Act. The bill, SB 573, is sponsored by state Sen. Doug Mastriano, a Republican and staunch Trump ally, and now a gubernatorial candidate on the Nov. 8 ballot.
Gov. Wolf, a term-limited Democrat, has said he will veto the legislation because it encourages “voter intimidation.”
According to PennLive.com, the legislation increases the number of poll watchers in a precinct from two to three watchers per candidate, and the bill demands that poll watchers have a good view of ballots being collected and counted. If the bill becomes state law, which is now unlikely, poll watchers would be allowed to travel anywhere in the state, too, not just in the county where they’re registered.
“Poll watchers add another layer of observation,” the state senator said of the bill, “to ensure that election laws are properly and legally administered."
After the state Senate passed the Empowerment Act 14-10 earlier this month, the House passed it 111-89 earlier this week.
Diane Gramley, president of the American Family Association of Pennsylvania, tells AFN she is not surprised the Empowerment Act came down to a party line vote in both the House and Senate.
“Apparently the Democrats don't want the poll watchers to be empowered,” she says. “And apparently the Republicans are for empowering the poll watchers to be able to make sure that we have free and fair elections in Pennsylvania."
In the November election, Keystone State voters will choose between Mastriano and the Democrat candidate, Josh Shapiro, who is the state's current attorney general.