A top Republican state senator is drafting legislation to prevent Gov. Tom Wolf from forcing Pennsylvania counties to buy new voting machines, a priority for the Democratic governor to ensure the machines are in place in time for the 2020 presidential election. Wolf has promoted the effort as a safeguard against hacking, since four in five Pennsylvania voters use electronic voting machines that lack an auditable paper trail. But Senate Majority Whip, Sen. John Gordner, R-Columbia, said Wednesday he wants to require legislative approval before Wolf — or any Pennsylvania governor— can force counties to buy new machines and set up a commission to gather public input and develop recommendations.
Gordner said his plan does not necessarily have the backing of the Senate’s Republican leadership. Rather, he said, it springs from the concerns of county commissioners in his district.
In a co-sponsorship memo distributed to senators, Gordner said it is “questionable whether or not it is reasonable or necessary to decertify every single machine” in Pennsylvania.