HARRISBURG – Local elections officials and members of advocacy groups testified before the Senate State Government Committee today regarding Senate Bill 878, a bipartisan election reform bill sponsored by the two chairmen of the committee, Senator David G. Argall (R-Berks/Schuylkill) and Senator Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia).
“It is vitally important that we restore trust in Pennsylvania’s elections, nothing is more important!” said Argall.
The State Government Committee heard testimony from the County Commissioners Association, local elections officials, and representatives from Common Cause PA, the Committee of Seventy, and the PA League of Women Voters.
Khalif Ali, the Executive Director of Common Cause PA called the bill “a step in the right direction” and Patrick Christmas, the Policy Director of the Committee of Seventy called it “one of the most promising bills.”
The proposed changes in this bill originated from the bipartisan Senate Special Committee on Election Integrity and Reform, which was created to make recommendations on how Pennsylvania’s election code could be improved. The committee included members of the Senate from both parties and all regions of Pennsylvania and heard testimony from a variety of stakeholders including election officials from Pennsylvania and other states around the nation.
The proposed changes include the following:
- The pre-canvassing of mail-in ballots at least three days before the election,
- Tracking mail-in ballots through a barcode system,
- Live-streaming the counting of mail-in ballots,
- Updated application deadlines for mail-in ballots,
- New security measures for drop boxes,
- Real-time reporting of deceased voters, and
- New requirements for training election workers
To watch the hearing or read today’s testimony, visit this link.
Contact: Jim Brugger