Pa. House Advances Substantial Election Reforms

Harrisburg
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HARRISBURG, Penn. (WETM) – The most comprehensive election reform since 1930 has passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 421 establishes mail-in voting in Pennsylvania, giving residents more time to register to vote ahead of elections. It also eliminates the straight0-party ticket option.

“Straight-party voting is an antiquated practice that works to encourage voters to blindly choose a blank box at the top of a ballot,” House Majority Leader Bryan Cutler said.

The legislation provides the pathway for the Commonwealth to provide $90 million to help every Pennsylvania county pay for newly required modern voting machines. This comes after Governor Tom Wolf unilaterally decertified voting machines statewide to require counties to obtain more secure machines.

The bill also allows voter registration up to 15 days prior to an election, ballots to be received until 8 p.m. on election day, and establish mail-in voting. The mail-in voting system will work similar to current absentee ballot voting.

Previously established policies for military members and emergency voting remain in place. This bill now goes to the Senate for further consideration.

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