Senate Special Committee Releases Report on Election Reforms

HARRISBURG — The bipartisan Special Committee on Election Integrity and Reform released a report today detailing its findings and recommendations to strengthen Pennsylvania’s election system.

Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R-34) called for the creation of the committee in December to review all aspects of the November 2020 election. The committee held a series of hearings in March and April to review election security and best practices in other states, state and local perspectives on the administration of elections, and the management of elections in Allegheny and Philadelphia counties.

In addition, the committee created a webpage to encourage Pennsylvanians to share their experiences in the 2020 General Election. The survey generated more than 20,000 responses.

The testimony and feedback received by the committee led to a series of recommendations to boost election security, improve voter access and support counties in the efficient administration of elections. The recommendations include:

  • Allowing pre-canvassing of ballots three days prior to Election Day.
  • Creating a tracking system for mail-in ballots.
  • Improving transparency of mail-in ballot counting through livestreaming.
  • Changing the voter registration deadline from 15 to 21 days before Election Day.
  • Changing the mail-in ballot application deadline from one to two weeks before Election Day.
  • Applicants can register to vote or apply for a mail-in ballot in person under the current timeline outlined in the Election Code.
  • Improving the accuracy of voter rolls, including real-time reporting of deceased individuals.
  • Implementing best practices from other states for voter verification for voting in-person and by mail.
  • Ensures that if the General Assembly acts to permit the use of drop boxes in future elections, proper security measures are in place.
  • Ensuring adequate funding for the administration of elections.

“I am extremely proud of the members of this committee for working together across party lines to approach these issues in an open and honest way,” Corman said. “In all my time in the legislature, I cannot recall an issue as difficult and politically charged as this. I am hopeful that we can build upon their efforts to enact real and meaningful reforms to ensure all Pennsylvanians have an election system they can believe in.”

The Senate State Government Committee, chaired by Senator David G. Argall (R-Berks/Schuylkill), is expected to consider legislation implementing the recommendations in the near future.

“Now that the bipartisan report has been approved, the Senate State Government will aggressively pursue legislation regarding voter access and voter integrity. This final report from the Special Committee gives us a realistic blueprint to push forward,” Argall said.

The full report and all testimony gathered during the hearings is available at https://pasenelectioncommittee.com/.

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CONATCT:           Jason Thompson (Corman)

                              Josh Paul (Argall)