(The Center Square) — As Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf expanded agencies providing voter registration information, the Heritage Foundation ranked Pennsylvania tied for seventeenth with Ohio in its election integrity scorecard.
Heritage awarded Pennsylvania 66 out of 100 points as it measured state election laws and procedures. Pennsylvania received 20 of 30 points in the category, “Accuracy of Voter Registration Lists.”
Wolf signed an executive order on Wednesday mandating seven additional Pennsylvania agencies and programs to be Voter Registration Distribution Agencies, requiring them to provide voter registration materials and information to people with which they interact. The list included the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, 121 state park office locations, libraries and state veterans homes.
Acting Secretary of State Leigh Chapman estimates there are 1.7 million Pennsylvanians eligible to vote but aren’t registered. There are approximately 8.7 million registered voters in Pennsylvania, according to the secretary of state’s annual report to the General Assembly. The report said there was a 3.64 percent decrease in voters since the end of 2020. However, the number of voters increased 2.86 percent when comparing to 2017 statistics, the report before the 2018 midterm elections.
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The last day to register is Oct. 24 to be eligible to vote in the Nov. 8 general election as Pennsylvanians will elect a new governor, a U.S. senator, eighteen members of Congress and state legislators.
“We are proud of the free and fair elections held here in the commonwealth, and that would not be possible without first providing convenient, accessible opportunities for every eligible citizen to register to vote,” Wolf said in a statement. “That’s why I am designating seven additional state agencies to provide their clients with materials and information on voter registration. This work will support the dedicated county officials and thousands of local poll workers who do their part every election to ensure that anyone who wants to exercise their precious right to vote can do so.”
The Heritage Foundation’s analysts and election law experts compiled its report. The report’s accuracy was checked with state election officials responding to the organization’s request for information. Heritage then sent a final summary to each state’s chief election official or the responsible state board of elections to correct any errors.
“Every citizen’s vote is sacred,” the Heritage Foundation stated in its explanation of the project. “The vote is how we guarantee that our government remains of the people, by the people, and for the people. The successful campaigns of the past cannot be taken for granted. We must continue the fight to expand and defend Americans’ right to have their votes count.”
Wolf’s order also requires the agencies to send quarterly statistics to the Secretary of State to assess the effectiveness of the voter registration program.
Joe Mueller covers Missouri for The Center Square. After seven years of reporting for daily newspapers in Illinois and Missouri, he spent the next 30 years in public relations serving nonprofit organizations and as a strategic communications consultant.
This article was republished with permission from The Center Square.