HARRISBURG, PA — Rep. John Lawrence (R-Chester) has issued a strong statement opposing Governor Josh Shapiro’s announcement of automatic voter registration in Pennsylvania.
Representative Lawrence criticized the Governor’s decision, stating that Shapiro lacks the constitutional authority to unilaterally impose such changes. He stressed that the responsibility for changing any law, including election law, lies with the General Assembly and not the executive branch.
“This action echoes the type of ‘governing’ we saw during the Wolf administration, where then-Gov. Tom Wolf bypassed the Legislature only to be rebuked both by the courts and the voters of Pennsylvania who approved a constitutional amendment curtailing the governor’s authority,” said Lawrence, referring to past instances of gubernatorial overreach.
Lawrence also expressed concern about the lack of detail in the Governor’s plan regarding the prevention of ineligible voters from accessing the voter rolls. The Chester County representative emphasized that voting is a sacred right that must be safeguarded at all costs.
Calling for an immediate rescission of the Governor’s order, Lawrence urged Shapiro to collaborate with the General Assembly on meaningful reform of Pennsylvania’s Election Code instead of resorting to executive action.
Lawrence’s statement underscores the ongoing tension between the executive and legislative branches in Pennsylvania, particularly on matters related to election laws. It remains to be seen how the Governor will respond to this challenge and whether he will heed Lawrence’s call for more collaborative governance.
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