Today, a bill that would increase legislative input and oversight in the voting machine decertification process was passed by the General Assembly, according to Senator John R. Gordner (R-27), who sponsored the measure.
Senate Bill 48 would create a legislative commission any time an Administration would seek to decertify voting machines in at least 50% of counties statewide. This commission would hold public hearings, review the Governor’s plan and make legislative recommendations to the General Assembly. This provision would become effective on December 31, 2019.
“This bill will ensure legislative involvement in any future mass-decertification event,” said Senator Gordner. “I encourage Governor Tom Wolf to sign this essential piece of legislation.”
Another important provision in SB 48 is the authorization of a state-issued bond to provide up to $90 million to reimburse counties for the cost of replacing machines. This would cover up to 60% of what counties will be expected to pay out through Governor Wolf’s current decertification efforts. An additional $14 million is available to counties for this effort from federally directed funds.
“I have received quite a bit of input on this issue from County Commissioners across my district,” added Senator Gordner. “The most common complaint has been the considerable cost. I am sympathetic to those concerns and have worked with my colleagues in the General Assembly to craft a bill that will provide essential funding for counties.”
The legislation also contains several election related measures, including the elimination of straight-party voting, reforming the absentee ballot process, as well as, providing cost-saving provisions in regard to the number of ballots printed for elections.
SB 48 now goes to the desk of Governor Tom Wolf.
Contact: Mike Stephens (717) 787-8928