PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The November election is likely to occur while the coronavirus pandemic is still with us.
So on Tuesday, a group of former elected officials joined to encourage safe and secure voting by mail. The national effort, called VoteSafe, is being co-chaired by former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge.
“Since the states have the responsibility to oversee these elections, we just want to make sure the public understands that we are together, bipartisan,” Ridge said.
The former governor says coronavirus has changed voting preferences.
WATCH: More From VoteSafe
“Let’s not ignore the unprecedented reality that there will be a lot more absentee ballots on Nov. 3 this year than ever before,” Ridge said.
Pennsylvania now allows all voters to vote by mail. Whatever glitches in the primary, former state House Republican Leader Dave Reed — who co-chairs Pennsylvania VoteSafe — says election officials should act.
“It’s incumbent on folks to improve that process where it didn’t run as smoothly as possible. And let’s make sure we get the ballots in, let’s get them counted accurately,” Reed said.
Reed’s Democratic co-chair, former congressman and Army Secretary Patrick Murphy, says mail-in voting has a long history.
“There are 600,000 of our troops overseas, and civilians, that voted by mail. It’s something we’ve done since the Civil War,” Murphy said.
And as for President Donald Trump’s worries about fraud?
“I think it is gross hyperbole on his part,” Ridge said. “I would say to the president if you are worried about fraud, then make sure your administration works with state and local officials and provides the support they need to guarantee there is no fraud.”