By State Rep. Jerry Knowles (R-Berks/Carbon/Schuylkill)
Pennsylvanians take their elections very seriously and that’s a good thing. We, as elected officials, must be certain to provide residents with the best election process which conforms to our constitutional requirements, is transparent, has integrity and is accessible.
All legal votes should be counted. The Pennsylvania General Assembly has a constitutional duty to prescribe the legal process of all elections within the Commonwealth. Serious and valid concerns have been raised. We need to review them to be sure they are addressed.
Don’t be a sore winner and publish messages in the paper or social media stating that this Republican is questioning the results of the presidential election. Joe Biden is our president. The goal is to move forward addressing the difficult issues that lie ahead for the nation and our Commonwealth. Our House State Government Committee was assembled to review how the election was conducted, not to interfere with the results. Pennsylvanians and Americans deserve an Election Code that rids us of any chance of fraud, provides for election security and is respectful of the needs of the counties.
Our constituents have told us that we must make changes to the election laws. My colleagues, both Democrats and Republicans, have introduced legislation with more forthcoming every day. It is a fact that change in our current election law and process is a bipartisan request and is a necessity. The alternative, doing nothing, is revisiting the same issues every election, and that is unacceptable to all involved in the process.
I have an idea. Let’s work together to gain the desired results instead of trying to divide. For example, I will be reintroducing legislation that will assist in addressing the decrease in both recruitment and retention of our volunteers and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel and the struggles they face in participating in necessary and timely training. The bill passed the House last session with bipartisan support but was never taken up by the Senate before the session’s end.
We know that no election is perfect, and that some problems will inevitably arise. Identifying what they are is a necessary precondition to bipartisan efforts to fix them.
In my opinion, the best action would be to return to the historically proven practice of in-person voting (with required identification) for all who can possibly do so. Mail-in voting should be limited to the military and others who absolutely require it due to medical or travel reasons.
For more information about any legislative topic, contact Knowles’ district office in Tamaqua at 570-668-1240, or in Hamburg at 610-562-3411. Information can also be found online at RepKnowles.com
Representative Jerry Knowles
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Rick Leiner