HARRISBURG, Pa. (KDKA) — Governor Tom Wolf seems to be relaxing his opposition to voter ID requirements at the polls in Pennsylvania.
The headline in Wednesday’s Philadelphia Inquirer — “Wolf Now Open to Voter ID Changes” — took the political world by surprise.READ MORE: As Eviction Moratorium Expires, Many Worried They'll Be Left Without A Roof Over Their Heads
“You know those emojis you have on your cell phone and the one where the head is exploding? That was my first thought, like my head exploded,” Pennsylvania Rep. Seth Grove told KDKA political editor Jon Delano.
Grove, a York County Republican, wrote the election bill Governor Wolf just vetoed. He said Wolf never reached out to Republican leaders to compromise on voter ID requirements.
“It is very, very frustrating for me knowing that we could have had a better election process for our voters and for our counties to administer, and it was completely missed because the governor’s office and the governor refused to have a conversation,” Grove said.
In a statement on Wednesday, the governor’s press secretary Lyndsay Kensinger said, “The governor would be willing to discuss the inclusion of identification requirements as long as the forms of ID accepted are expansive and easy to acquire, and there is an affidavit backstop.”
Grove said his bill, just reintroduced in the state House, meets those terms, requiring ID but not a photo ID. A new voter registration card from your elections bureau would suffice.READ MORE: Laurel Highlands Nominated For USA Today's Best Fall Foliage Destination
And if you didn’t have those, said Grove, “You can just sign an affidavit, which they do in Delaware and a couple of other states, as a form of ID.”
Wolf’s statement suggested he didn’t trust Republicans to make it easier to vote, and he and other Democrats said voter ID must be considered in the context of the whole bill.
“We need to see all the component parts, and once we do and see how it fits within an accessibility security matrix, only then can we really make a judgment,” said Pennsylvania Rep. Jared Solomon, a Philadelphia Democrat who serves on the House State Government Committee.
Is election compromise possible?
“He opened a window by coming out and saying, I don’t necessarily have an issue with voter ID anymore. The issue is, he needs to pick up the phone. You need to come have a conversation,” said Grove.
“We all need to be engaged in this in order to get it right,” added Solomon.MORE NEWS: Carnegie Mellon University Reinstates Masking Requirements
No word from the governor that he intends to make the first move.