Sep. 21, 2023

HARRISBURG – Rep. Craig Staats (R-Bucks) criticized Gov. Josh Shapiro Thursday for his continued lack of transparency and unwillingness to work with the state Legislature regarding his implementation of an automatic voter registration system in Pennsylvania.

“I continue to be disappointed by the governor’s continued lack of transparency and communication with the state Legislature on key issues,” Staats said. “After continually stating he would be different than our previous governor, Josh Shapiro has instead continued on the Wolf legacy of unilateral action to get issues passed without working with the Legislature.” 

Under the newest executive action taken by Shapiro, every Pennsylvanian who gets a new driver’s license or renews their license will be automatically registered to vote unless an individual chooses not to. 

“While I certainly support more people registering and exercising their right to vote, there are big questions about this action that would have been solved had this gone through the legislative process,” Staats said. “Firstly, this is going to be another hotly contested election year, and unilateral changes to the system like this will continue to threaten voter confidence. Secondly, there are questions about how this system will deal with voter eligibility and how this system would recognize those who are able to get driver’s licenses but are unable to vote.” 

In addition, Staats mentioned how the creation of this system does not match up with Gov. Shapiro’s position on voter ID.

“It is ironic to me that the governor has continued to be against voter ID, while creating a system where a person is registered to vote while getting a state ID,” Staats said. “This continued lack of transparency and secrecy on these issues tells me Gov. Shapiro is more focused on securing partisan support, as his eyes seem to be focused more on Washington, D.C., rather than being focused on issues that affect Pennsylvanians in the here and now.”

Representative Craig Staats
145th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Joe Szymanski