The Hatch Act – think carefully before changing

PA senators revealed their election reform package yesterday in Harrisburg.    I welcome parts of the reform package and look forward to a conversation with this bi-partisan group.

I am glad these issues are receiving attention and hopeful that change will occur while maintaining the integrity of elections. I spoke with our county elections director on Monday. He said he was pleased that 4 years ago Sen Stefano, Ben Wren and Rep Warner met with him to discuss county election issues and welcomes another meeting to discuss current concerns.

I too welcome a conversation with the Senator and others to provide input from my prospective. As a county commissioner in Fayette County I serve on the county election board, voter registration commission and PA CCAP election reform committee. In reading various news articles, I agree thus far the reform measures except lifting the restriction of allowing certain government employees to work the polls (inside election day workers). The Hatch Act as it stands now prohibits such activity at some levels.

Yes, it is a challenge to get people to work inside the polls but rather than change the Hatch Act we should continue to look at other alternatives and should do a better job of reaching out to the public to get help on election day. Some say it is because of the low pay for the day while others say it is too stressful and too long of a day. We should be looking to engage younger people to work the polls and look at college & trade school students especially those studying in a related field.

I look forward to a conversation with the Senators on this important issue.