Defending Democracy & Voting Rights - Shapiro For Governor
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July 5, 2022Blog

Defending Democracy & Voting Rights

Hey gang, it’s Josh here.

I hope you can take some time to read this post, but if there’s one thing you should take away, let it be this: Doug Mastriano is trying his hardest to throw out Pennsylvanians’ votes and undermine our democracy. I’ve fought in court time and time again to protect your right to vote, and I will never stop defending that fundamental right and our democracy as Governor. 

The choice you make this November in Pennsylvania’s Governor race will have huge implications, and will influence how elections are run in our Commonwealth — including the 2024 presidential election. In 2020, we saw a President who openly tried to ignore the will of the voters, asked state officials to “find” more votes, and encouraged a near-coup at the U.S. Capitol to stay in power.

When Trump came into our Commonwealth claiming “voter fraud,” he was trying to throw out Pennsylvanians’  votes and falsely claimed that our election wasn’t fair — just because he lost. But as the People’s Attorney General, I stood up to him, defended our right to vote — and won.

Republicans tried to overturn a free and fair election and undermine our democracy, and while the 2020 election is over, their lies and attacks on our right to vote have not stopped.

To this day, Republicans are still making baseless claims of fraud — even trying to overturn a law they voted for. Ahead of the 2020 election, the Legislature passed Act 77 — a bill expanding mail-in voting — with bipartisan support. This new law led to record turnout in 2020, yet Republicans are now claiming that it’s unconstitutional and doing everything they can to get it repealed.

These same Republicans chose Doug Mastriano as the leader of their party, supporting his extreme plan to throw out Pennsylvanians’ votes. Mastriano has said that he wants to force all 8.7 million Pennsylvania registered voters to re-register — wasting millions of taxpayer dollars and creating huge logistical, not to mention legal, issues. In fact, Mastriano’s plan has been called a “direct descendant of the poll tax.” These policies, directly targeting communities of color, are a real threat to our democracy.

Mastriano is also more than willing to undermine democratic institutions if he gets the chance — he’s already proven it. In the Legislature, Mastriano has led the charge for the “sham” audit that’s still trying to relitigate the results of the 2020 election. That audit is now seeking the private, personal information of 9 million Pennsylvanians in the form of their driver’s license and social security numbers. Mastriano has also voiced support for appointing a Secretary of State who could work with Mastriano to, as he says,  “decertify every machine in the state with the stroke of a pen” and would support Mastriano’s false claims of election fraud. With this power, Doug could hand-pick the victor of the presidential election in Pennsylvania — even if it meant throwing out our votes. Doug Mastriano’s plans to undermine our democracy and cut us off from the ballot box are all designed with one goal in mind: to intimidate the other side, to scare us. To make it harder for us to vote in hopes that we will walk away.

I will never back down from what I believe is right. I will defend our democracy — just like I did as Attorney General.

That’s why I’ve got a plan to ensure our elections remain fair for all Pennsylvania voters. I will:

  • Veto any effort to restrict mail-in voting.
  • Appoint a pro-democracy Secretary of State, who will ensure that our elections are conducted securely and fairly.
  • Establish automatic voter registration.
  • Implement same-day voter registration through Election Day, making it easier for eligible non-registered Pennsylvanians to make their voice heard. Currently, unregistered voters in Pennsylvania must register to vote 15 days before Election Day.
  • Create a centralized site to report all election results, which will compile every election result in the Commonwealth in one place so that reporting is accurate, timely, and easy to access. Our voters deserve transparency, and this will provide it to them.
  • Establish early in-person voting, giving Pennsylvanians more time to cast their ballot.

When we all show up at the polls, we make our voices heard in a way that Republicans can’t ignore. The next Governor of Pennsylvania will have tremendous power in deciding what course our Commonwealth and our nation will take. I hope you will entrust me with that responsibility.