Harrisburg – The State Senate approved legislation Tuesday that will bring the most comprehensive changes to Pennsylvania’s election laws in more than eight decades, according to Senator John DiSanto (Dauphin/Perry).
The measure now goes to the governor to be signed in to law.
Senate Bill 421 will provide $90 million in funding for counties to replace voting machines, boosting election security and ensuring that local taxpayers did not have to pick up the tab for the required upgrades.
The bill will also:
- Extend the deadline for voters to submit an absentee ballot, from the Friday before Election Day until 8 p.m. on Election Day.
- Push back the voter registration deadline from 30 days before an election to 15 days.
- Allow voters to request and submit an absentee ballot by mail without providing a reason.
- Create a permanent mail-in voter list.
DiSanto said the changes will promote a more secure system in which every voter can be certain that their vote counts, without creating any unnecessary delays for state residents to exercise their right to vote.
The bill also eliminates antiquated straight-party voting, something that 40 states have already done.
“A lot has changed since the state Election Code was written in 1937, and while some revisions have been implemented over the years, much of it remained outdated,” DiSanto said. “These changes will streamline the process of voting, and provide counties with the funding needed to ensure secure ballots and accurate vote counts.”
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