With the possibility of more changes coming in Pennsylvania's election laws, Crawford County commissioners want state lawmakers to listen to their input.

With the May 18 primary election, the Crawford County Board of Elections had to deal with counting about 3,000 write-in names in addition to balloted candidates, according to Eric Henry, chairman of the county commissioners. The large number of write-ins was why the board was still finishing up tabulation of results Wednesday, he said.

In 2019, bipartisan legislation approved by the Pennsylvania General Assembly and signed by Gov. Tom Wolf made sweeping changes to Pennsylvania's election laws including allowing mail-in voting and more time to register to vote.

Now, with talk of more Pennsylvania election law changes, commissioners spoke out Wednesday.

Henry said he was concerned that Crawford County's state legislators never discussed the previous changes with county officials, nor have they talked about more changes.

"They never came to us before election laws changed," Henry said. "They never came to us about how much more this may cost, or how much more time we may need."

Commissioner Christopher Soff, who chairs the county's election board, was blunt about have both Republican and Democratic state legislators have been handling election reform.

"They have nothing to do with actually trying to make the election process better," he said. "In my opinion, both sides are purely after political gain for their party."

Henry said before state legislators make any changes to Pennsylvania's election laws, they need to speak with county election boards.

"Before you change the law, maybe you actually talk to the people who have to follow the law," he said. "It's kind of disheartening to know that people are making changes or going about making changes without actually understanding the things that we do."

County commissioners said they'd entertain a meeting with local state legislators about election laws at any time. 

Keith Gushard can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at kgushard@meadvilletribune.com.

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