Senate Approves Comprehensive Modernizations to State Election Laws

HARRISBURG – The Senate approved legislation today that will bring the most comprehensive changes to Pennsylvania’s election laws in decades, according to Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46), who supported the bill.

Senate Bill 421 would make it easier for all residents to vote by extending voter registration and absentee ballot deadlines. The legislation would:

  • 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.

The bill would also provide $90 million to replace county voting machines in order to boost election security and ensure local taxpayers do not have to pick up the tab for the required upgrades. Antiquated straight-party voting would also be eliminated – something that 40 states have already done.

“All parties have a strong interest in ensuring our elections are accurate, efficient and accessible to all citizens, and these modernizations are a strong step toward that goal,” Bartolotta said. “These changes will promote a stronger 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.”

Senate Bill 421 was sent to the Governor to be signed into law. 

CONTACT: Katrina Hanna (717) 787-1463