Making Democracy Work

Book Club

Dec. 9, 2019, 10:00am, Union County Public Library, Reitz Blvd., Lewisburg.

In this session, we will look at Pennsylvania Election Security and why the State has mandated the change in voting machines. I have put together a list of readings. Reading #1, the Blue-Ribbon Commission Report is most important for our discussion, all the others are relevant and interesting. Read what appeals to you.

1. Blue Ribbon Commission on Pennsylvania Election Security published in January 2019, which can be found at https://www.cyber.pitt.edu/commission You will find links to the (a) Final Report, (b) Report in Brief, (c) Fast Facts, and (d) Other Commission Documents.

2. Jill Stein's Litigation Settlement that lead to the requirement for new voting machines in Pennsylvania: https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=PDF&sessYr=2019&sessInd=0&billBody=S&billTyp=B&billNbr=0048&pn=1080 Press Release one the settlement: https://www.votingjustice.us/pa_recount_settlement_a_victory_for_voters_everywhere

3. Report of the Brennen Center for Justice on Defending Elections: Federal Funding Needs for State Election Security published July 18, 2019. Find at: https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/defending-elections-federal-funding-needs-state-election-security Examines 6 key states including Pennsylvania.

4. Center for American Progress Report on Election Security in All 50 States published on February 12, 2018. Find at: https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/democracy/reports/2018/02/12/446336/election-security-50-states/

5. Pennsylvania Joint State Government Commission on Voting Technology in Pennsylvania published in December 2017. Found at: http://jsg.legis.state.pa.us/resources/documents/ftp/publications/2017-12-11%20FOR%20WEBSITE%20%20VOTING%20FINAL%20REPORT%2011.30.17.pdf

6. Pennsylvania Legislation. Many of our members may recall that our League maintains a blog at https://wordpress.com/view/lwvlewisburgarea.wordpress.com

The blog's legislative news reporter has shared the following information with us:You might want to take a look at the initial 4-page version of Senator Gordner's bill (Senate Bill 48), which is at:https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=PDF&sessYr=2019&sessInd=0&billBody=S&billTyp=B&billNbr=0048&pn=0024

and his introductory Memorandum: https://www.legis.state.pa.us//cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=S&SPick=20190&cosponId=26548

You may know that Gordner's initial version of the bill was subsequently substantially amended to include numerous changes to the State's election laws, including provisions for financing the acquisition of new voting machines but also a provision for elimination of the "straight party-voting" option. As so amended, the bill was approved by both the State Senate and House but was vetoed by the Governor. It has since been taken up for new consideration by the Senate. The 56-page version of the bill that was vetoed can be found at: https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=PDF&sessYr=2019&sessInd=0&billBody=S&billTyp=B&billNbr=0048&pn=1080. This bill has now passed designated as Act 77.

Please note: In February of 2020 (date to be determined) the Book Club will discuss Federal Election Security. We will read and discuss Volume I only of the Meuller Report. You can down load this or purchase it in hard copy or for Kindle from Amazon.