election integrity pennsylvania

Frequently Asked Q&A About Election Integrity in Pennsylvania

It’s time for all registered Pennsylvanians to exercise our civic duty and head out to vote on Tuesday, November 8th.

With public opinion polls showing a lack of confidence in the election system, it’s reasonable that some people would have doubts about the integrity of elections in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

At the Commonwealth Foundation we take seriously the foundations of a free and civil society.

We urge all Pennsylvanians to take elections seriously, remaining dedicated to upholding the integrity of the system, to ensure confidence in the selection of our elected officials and the future of our Commonwealth.

Here’s a quick Q&A to some of the most frequently asked questions about the November 2022 election:

As it stands today, will the November 2022 elections be conducted freely and fairly in Pennsylvania?

Yes. During every election cycle there are numerous irregularities alleged and reported. We have an electoral system designed to address and resolve such irregularities, including a judicial branch which serves as the final arbiter. As it stands today, there is no evidence of fraudulent ballots being cast or counted, nor other fraudulent activities occurring that would undermine the administration of the Pennsylvania 2022 vote. A free and fair election is expected. 

Will the results of the November 2022 election be legitimate?

Yes, the electoral system, as it did in 2020 and every American election before or since, will function as designed. Local and state officials will administer the election in substantial compliance with applicable state and federal law. Where legal disputes do arise, aggrieved parties will receive due process and be heard in the courts with jurisdiction. Binding decisions will be issued, and winning candidates sworn into office accordingly. 

But aren’t there serious questions, challenges, and even lawsuits about the legitimacy of Pennsylvania’s election system?

From continued litigation about undated mail in ballots, to longstanding issues with voter databases, to delayed ballot delivery, to concerns about nonverified mail-in ballot requests, to warnings that voters should “temper their expectations” about when they will see election results, voters are right to be concerned. 

While much of this comes from partisans attempting to discourage the other side or avoid blame for election results, the impact is that voters from both parties continue to have concerns about election administration and the integrity of the election process. 

These issues could have been addressed with election reform legislation vetoed by Gov. Tom Wolf last year. 

Nonetheless, the Commonwealth Foundation and other Election Integrity advocates continue to drive forward public policies that will help all citizens feel confident about elections in Pennsylvania. 

What are the solutions to improving election integrity and restoring confidence in the commonwealth’s electoral process?

The Commonwealth Foundation and other election integrity advocates are advancing reforms that include voter ID for in-person voting and strengthened ID validation of mail-in ballots, clear and reasonable voter registration and ballot request deadlines, allowing counties to pre-canvass mail-in ballots before Election Day, fixing the state’s SURE voter database to ensure accuracy, and secured monitoring of any ballot “dropboxes.”

We call on officials from across the political spectrum to quickly enact these reforms in the new session, including a potential constitutional amendment requiring vote ID. 

Considering all the issues around elections and how poorly our state administers them does my vote really count?

Yes, your vote really counts.  Part of fixing the election system is engaging in it.  Show up to vote on Tuesday, November 8th.  Then, engage your lawmakers to advocate for sensible reforms like adding Voter ID to a constitutional ballot initiative during the primary 2023 election.