HARRISBURG, PA — Senators Mike Folmer (R-48), Judy Schwank (D-11), Tom Killion (R-9), Pat Stefano (R-32) and Scott Martin (R-13) will hold a press conference on Tuesday, January 29 at 10 a.m. in the Capitol Media Center in regards to a soon-to-be-introduced bipartisan election reform package.
“The right to vote is the bedrock of our Constitutional Republic. Every vote matters and every vote needs to be counted. The goal of the reforms my Senate colleagues and I are offering is to ensure voters are better able to cast their votes with ease and be assured their votes will be protected and properly counted,” said Folmer.
The package, which was drafted after public hearings, workgroup meetings, and many discussions with county election officials and commissioners, and interested parties across the Commonwealth from both sides of the political aisle, will include legislation addressing:
- A permanent early voting list;
- Vote centers and curbside voting;
- Number of votes to qualify as a write-in winner;
- Number of ballots to be printed, and;
- Consolidation of smaller precincts.
“We should encourage all Pennsylvanians to be interested and invested in our government; making voting easier and more convenient is the best place to start,” Schwank said. “Responsibilities and unexpected demands can change your plans, and while meetings and doctor appointments can sometimes be rescheduled, voting cannot.”
The package will also include three Constitutional Amendments regarding absentee ballots, poll workers and separate ballot judicial retention elections.
“Reforming how we vote is critical to Pennsylvania’s future,” said Killion. “Voting must be convenient and easy for citizens. This package of election reform bills will help achieve that goal,” he added.
“During my first term in the Senate, my local county Election offices have provided valuable input on how to improve the administration of elections in the Commonwealth. I am hopeful that this bipartisan effort will yield secure, accessible and cost-efficient elections that encourage active participation in our democratic processes,” said Stefano.
This package seeks to provide a long overdue update to the Pennsylvania Election Code.
“All parties have an interest in working toward building and maintaining an election system that is both fair for voters and efficient for taxpayers,” Martin said. “Many counties are struggling with the increased costs required to ensure election security without creating new hurdles for voters. I am hopeful that we can find commonsense ways to reduce the cost of elections while at the same time protecting one of our most sacred rights as Pennsylvanians and as Americans.”
Source: Thomas H. Killion (R), Pennsylvania State Senate, Senate District 9
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