S0421B1015A03300 MSP:JSL 10/21/19 #90 A03300
AMENDMENTS TO SENATE BILL NO. 421
Sponsor: REPRESENTATIVE EVERETT
Printer's No. 1015
Amend Bill, page 1, lines 1 through 22, by striking out all
of said lines and inserting
Amending the act of June 3, 1937 (P.L.1333, No.320), entitled
"An act concerning elections, including general, municipal,
special and primary elections, the nomination of candidates,
primary and election expenses and election contests; creating
and defining membership of county boards of elections;
imposing duties upon the Secretary of the Commonwealth,
courts, county boards of elections, county commissioners;
imposing penalties for violation of the act, and codifying,
revising and consolidating the laws relating thereto; and
repealing certain acts and parts of acts relating to
elections," in preliminary provisions, further providing for
definitions; in the Secretary of the Commonwealth, providing
for requirements for disapproval or decertification of voting
apparatuses; in election districts and polling places,
further providing for restrictions on alteration; in
nomination of candidates, further providing for petition may
consist of several sheets and affidavit of circulator and for
nominations by political bodies; in ballots, further
providing for form of official primary ballot, for form of
official election ballot and for number of ballots to be
printed and specimen ballots; in voting machines, further
providing for requirements of voting machines and for form of
ballot labels on voting machines; in electronic voting
systems, further providing for requirements of electronic
voting systems, for forms, for election day procedures and
the process of voting and for post election procedures; in
preparation for and conduct of primaries and elections,
further providing for manner of applying to vote and persons
entitled to vote and voter's certificates and entries to be
made in district register and numbered lists of voters and
challenges, for method of marking ballots and depositing same
in districts in which ballots are used, for instructions of
voters and manner of voting in districts in which voting
machines are used, for count and return of votes in districts
in which ballots are used, for what ballots shall be counted,
manner of counting and defective ballots and for canvass and
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return of votes in districts in which voting machines are
used and providing for deadline for receipt of valid voter
registration application, for appeals and for appeals to
court of common pleas; in voting by qualified absentee
electors, further providing for applications for official
absentee ballots, for date of application for absentee
ballot, for approval of application for absentee ballot, for
absentee electors files and lists, for official absentee
voters ballots, for delivering or mailing ballots, for voting
by absentee electors, for canvassing of official absentee
ballots and for public records; providing for voting by
qualified mail-in electors; in returns of primaries and
elections, further providing for manner of computing
irregular ballots; in primary and election expenses, further
providing for reporting by candidates and political
committees and other persons; providing for dissemination of
information and for jurisdiction; and making related repeals.
Amend Bill, page 1, lines 25 through 28; pages 2 through 15,
lines 1 through 30; page 16, lines 1 through 25; by striking out
all of said lines on said pages and inserting
Section 1. Section 102(z.5)(3) of the act of June 3, 1937
(P.L.1333, No.320), known as the Pennsylvania Election Code, is
amended and the section is amended by adding a subsection to
read:
Section 102. Definitions.--The following words, when used in
this act, shall have the following meanings, unless otherwise
clearly apparent from the context:
* * *
(z.5) The words "proof of identification" shall mean:
* * *
(3) For a qualified absentee elector under section 1301 or a
qualified mail-in elector under section 1301-D:
(i) in the case of an elector who has been issued a current
and valid driver's license, the elector's driver's license
number;
(ii) in the case of an elector who has not been issued a
current and valid driver's license, the last four digits of the
elector's Social Security number;
(iii) in the case of an elector who has a religious
objection to being photographed, a copy of a document that
satisfies paragraph (1); or
(iv) in the case of an elector who has not been issued a
current and valid driver's license or Social Security number, a
copy of a document that satisfies paragraph (2).
(z.6) The words "qualified mail-in elector" shall mean a
qualified elector who is not a qualified absentee elector.
Section 2. The act is amended by adding a section to read:
Section 207. Requirements for Disapproval or Decertification
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of Voting Apparatuses.--(a) The Commonwealth may not disapprove
or decertify a voting apparatus in fifty per centum (50%) or
more counties until the requirements of this section have been
met.
(b) If the Commonwealth intends to make a disapproval or
decertification under subsection (a), the Department of State
must submit a written plan to the President pro tempore of the
Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the
Appropriations Committee of the Senate, the Appropriations
Committee of the House of Representatives, the State Government
Committee of the Senate and the State Government Committee of
the House of Representatives at least one hundred eighty (180)
days prior to the effective date of the replacement voting
apparatuses, containing all of the following information:
(1) The reason for the disapproval or decertification.
(2) The estimated cost to replace the disapproved or
decertified voting apparatus and the plan for how funding will
be obtained to cover the estimated cost.
(3) A plan for replacing the disapproved or decertified
voting apparatus.
(4) The effective date of the replacement voting apparatus.
(c) As used in this section, the following words and phrases
shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection unless
the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Electronic voting system" shall have the meaning given to
the term in section 1101-A.
"Voting apparatus" shall mean a kind or type of electronic
voting system that received the approval of the Secretary of the
Commonwealth under section 1105-A.
Section 3. Sections 536(a) and (b), 909, 951(d), 1002(a) and
(b), 1003(a) and (e), 1007, 1107(b), 1110(h), 1107-A(3), 1109-
A(a)(2) and (d), 1112-A(a)(2) and (4) and (b)(4), 1113-A(d),
1210(a.4) and (5)(ii), 1215(b) and (c), 1216(d) and (f), 1222,
1223(a) and 1227(d) of the act are amended to read:
Section 536. Restrictions on Alteration.--(a) Except as
provided in subsection (b), there shall be no power to
establish, abolish, divide, consolidate or alter in any manner
an election district during the period [July 15, 2009] from
December 31 , 2019 , through November 30, [2012] 2022, or through
resolution of all judicial appeals to the [2012] 2022
Congressional Redistricting Plan, whichever occurs later.
(b) During the period from [July 15, 2009] December 31 ,
2019, through December 31, [2010] 2020, an election district may
be divided or election districts may be combined if the
following are met:
(1) In the case of the division of an election district, the
boundary of each resulting district is composed entirely of
clearly visible physical features conforming with the census
block lines or portions of the original boundary of the election
district which was divided.
(2) In the case of the combination of election districts,
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the boundary of each resulting district is composed entirely of
portions of the original boundaries of the election districts
which were combined.
* * *
Section 909. Petition May Consist of Several Sheets;
[Affidavit] Statement of Circulator.--Said nomination petition
may be on one or more sheets, and different sheets must be used
for signers resident in different counties. If more than one
sheet is used, they shall be bound together when offered for
filing if they are intended to constitute one petition, and each
sheet shall be numbered consecutively beginning with number one,
at the foot of each page. In cases of petitions for delegate or
alternate delegate to National conventions, each sheet shall
contain a notation indicating the presidential candidate to whom
he is committed or the term "uncommitted." Each sheet shall have
appended thereto the [affidavit] statement of the circulator of
each sheet, setting forth, subject to the penalties of 18
Pa.C.S. § 4904 (relating to unsworn falsification to
authorities)--(a) that he or she is a qualified elector of the
Commonwealth, who is duly registered and enrolled as a member of
the [designated party of the State, or of the political
district, as the case may be, referred to] party designated in
said petition, unless said petition relates to the nomination of
a candidate for a court of common pleas, for the Philadelphia
Municipal Court or for the Traffic Court of Philadelphia or for
justice of the peace, in which event the circulator need not be
a duly registered and enrolled member of the designated party;
(b) his residence, giving city, borough or township, with street
and number, if any; (c) that the signers thereto signed with
full knowledge of the contents of the petition; (d) that their
respective residences are correctly stated therein; (e) that
they all reside in the county named in the [affidavit]
statement; (f) that each signed on the date set opposite his
name; and (g) that, to the best of [affiant's] the circulator's
knowledge and belief, the signers are qualified electors and
duly registered and enrolled members of the designated party of
the State, or of the political district, as the case may be.
Section 951. Nominations by Political Bodies.--* * *
(d) Nomination papers may be on one or more sheets and
different sheets must be used for signers resident in different
counties. If more than one sheet is used, they shall be bound
together when offered for filing if they are intended to
constitute one nomination paper, and each sheet shall be
numbered consecutively, beginning with number one (1) at the
foot of each page. Each sheet shall have appended thereto the
[affidavit] statement of some person, not necessarily a signer,
and not necessarily the same person on each sheet, setting
forth, subject to the penalties of 18 Pa.C.S. § 4904 (relating
to unsworn falsification to authorities)--[(1) that the affiant
is a qualified elector of the State, or of the electoral
district, as the case may be, referred to in the nomination
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paper;] (2) [his] the person's residence, giving city, borough
or township with street and number, if any; (3) that the signers
signed with full knowledge of the contents of the nomination
paper; (4) that their respective residences are correctly stated
therein; (5) that they all reside in the county named in the
[affidavit] statement; (6) that each signed on the date set
opposite his name; and (7) that, to the best of [affiant's] the
person's knowledge and belief, the signers are qualified
electors of the State, or of the electoral district, as the case
may be.
* * *
Section 1002. Form of Official Primary Ballot.--(a) At
primaries separate official ballots shall be prepared for each
party which shall be in substantially the following form:
Official............................... Primary Ballot.
(Name of Party)
........District,........Ward, City of........................,
County of..............................., State of Pennsylvania
........Primary election held on the.....day of........., 19...
Make a cross (X) or check ( ) in the square to the right of
each candidate for whom you wish to vote. If you desire to vote
for a person whose name is not on the ballot, write[, print or
paste] or stamp his name in the blank space provided for that
purpose. Mark ballot only in black lead pencil, indelible pencil
or blue, black or blue-black ink in fountain pen or ball point
pen. Use the same pencil or pen for all markings you place on
the ballot.
President of the United States.
(Vote for one)
John Doe
Richard Roe
John Stiles
United States Senator.
(Vote for one)
John Doe
Richard Roe
John Stiles
Governor.
(Vote for one)
John Doe
Richard Roe
John Stiles
Representative in Congress.....District.
(Vote for one)
John Doe
Richard Roe
John Stiles
Delegates at Large to National Convention.
(Vote for.....)
John Doe
(Committed to Jeremiah Smith)
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John Stiles
(Uncommitted)
Delegate to National Convention.....District.
(Vote for.....)
John Doe
(Committed to Jeremiah Smith)
John Stiles
(Uncommitted)
Senator in the General Assembly.....District.
(Vote for one)
John Doe
Richard Roe
John Stiles
Member of State Committee.
(Vote for one)
John Doe
Richard Roe
John Stiles
Party Committeemen.
(Vote for.....)
John Doe
Richard Roe
John Stiles
(b) On the back of each ballot shall be printed in prominent
type the words "OFFICIAL PRIMARY BALLOT OF ........PARTY FOR"
followed by the designation of the election district for which
it is prepared, the date of the primary and the facsimile
signatures of the members of the county board of elections. The
names of candidates shall in all cases be arranged under the
title of the office for which they are candidates, and be
printed thereunder in the order determined by the casting of
lots as provided by this act. Under the title of such offices
where more than one candidate is to be voted for, shall be
printed "Vote for not more than ........" (the blank space to
indicate the number of candidates to be voted for the particular
office.) At the right of the name of each candidate there shall
be a square of sufficient size for the convenient insertion of a
cross (x) or check ( ) mark. There shall be left at the end of
the list of candidates for each office (or under the title of
the office itself in case there be no candidates who have filed
nomination petitions therefor) as many blank spaces as there are
persons to be voted for, for such office, in which space the
elector may insert, by writing or stamping, the name of any
person whose name is not printed on the ballot as a candidate
for such office. Opposite or under the name of each candidate,
except candidates for the office of President of the United
States and candidates for delegate or alternate delegate to a
National Party Convention, who is to be voted for by the
electors of more than one county, shall be printed the name of
the county in which such candidate resides; and opposite or
under the name of each candidate except candidates for delegate
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or alternate delegate to a National Party Convention who is to
be voted for by the electors of an entire county or any
congressional, senatorial or representative district within the
county, shall be printed the name of the city, borough, township
or ward, as the case may be, in which such candidate resides.
* * *
Section 1003. Form of Official Election Ballot.--
(a) The official ballots for general, municipal and special
elections shall be in substantially the following form:
OFFICIAL BALLOT
....................... District, ........................ Ward,
City of ........................, County of ...................,
State of Pennsylvania ..........................................
Election held on the .......... day of ................, [19]
20.....
A cross (X) or check ( ) mark in the square opposite the name of
any candidate indicates a vote for that candidate.
[To vote a straight party ticket, mark a cross (X) or check
( ) in the square, in the Party Column, opposite the name of the
party of your choice. To vote for an individual candidate of
another party after making a mark in the party square, mark a
cross (X) or check ( ) opposite his name. For an office where
more than one candidate is to be voted for, the voter, after
marking in the party square, may divide his vote by marking a
cross (X) or check ( ) to the right of each candidate for whom
he or she desires to vote. For such office votes shall not be
counted for candidates not individually marked.]
To vote for a person whose name is not on the ballot, write[,
print or paste] or stamp his name in the blank space provided
for that purpose. A cross (X) or check ( ) mark in the square
opposite the names of the candidates of any party for President
and Vice-President of the United States indicates a vote for all
the candidates of that party for presidential elector. To vote
for individual candidates for presidential elector, write[,
print or paste] or stamp their names in the blank spaces
provided for that purpose under the title "Presidential
Electors." Mark ballot only in black lead pencil, indelible
pencil or blue, black or blue-black ink, in fountain pen or ball
point pen; use the same pencil or pen for all markings you place
on the ballot.
Before leaving the voting compartment, fold this ballot,
without displaying the markings thereon, in the same way it was
folded when received, then leave the compartment and exhibit the
ballot to one of the election officers who shall ascertain by an
inspection of the number appearing upon the right hand corner of
the back of the ballot whether the ballot so exhibited to him is
the same ballot which the elector received before entering the
voting compartment. If it is the same, the election officer
shall direct the elector, without unfolding the ballot, to
remove the perforated corner containing the number, and the
elector shall immediately deposit the ballot in the ballot box.
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Any ballot deposited in a ballot box at any primary or election
without having the said number torn off shall be void and shall
not be counted.
[Party Column Presidential Electors
To Vote a Straight Party Ticket
Mark a Cross (X) or Check ( ) in
this Column.
(Vote for the candidates of
one party for President and
Vice-President, or insert the
names of candidates.)
Democratic
For
John Stiles
and
Richard Doe,
Democratic ...................
Republican
For
John Doe
and
Richard Roe,
Republican ...................
Socialist
For
John Smith
and
William Jones,
Socialist ....................
Citizens]
Presidential Electors.
(Vote for the candidates of one party for President and Vice
President, or insert the names of candidates)
For
John Stiles and Richard Doe......................... Democratic
For
John Doe and Richard Roe............................ Republican
For
John Smith and William Jones......................... Socialist
For
........................ Citizens
United States Senator.
(Vote for one)
Richard Roe ......................................... Democratic
John Doe ............................................ Republican
Richard Stiles ....................................... Socialist
Governor.
(Vote for one)
Richard Roe ......................................... Democratic
John Doe ............................................ Republican
Richard Stiles ....................................... Socialist
Representatives in Congress,
....... District.
(Vote for one)
Richard Roe ......................................... Democratic
John Doe ............................................ Republican
Richard Stiles ....................................... Socialist
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Senator in the General Assembly,
....... District.
(Vote for one)
John Doe ............................................ Democratic
Richard Roe ......................................... Republican
* * *
(e) There shall be left at the end of the group of
candidates for President and Vice-President of the United States
under the title "Presidential Electors," as many blank spaces as
there are presidential electors to be elected, in which spaces
the elector may insert, by writing or stamping, the names of any
individual candidates for presidential electors for whom he
desires to vote. There shall also be left at the end of each
group of candidates for each other office (or under the title of
the office itself in case no candidates have been nominated
therefor), as many blank spaces as there are persons to be voted
for for such office, in which space the elector may insert the
name of any person or persons whose name is not printed on the
ballot as a candidate for such office.
* * *
Section 1007. Number of Ballots to Be Printed; Specimen
Ballots.--(a) The county board of each county shall provide for
each election district [in which a primary is to be held, one
book of fifty official ballots of each party for every forty-
five registered and enrolled electors of such party and fraction
thereof, appearing upon the district register, and shall provide
for each election district in which an election is to be held
one book of fifty official ballots for every forty-five
registered electors and fraction thereof appearing upon the
district register. They] a supply of official election ballots
for:
(1) the general primary election held in even-numbered years
in which candidates for the office of President of the United
States are not nominated in an amount of at least ten per centum
greater than the highest number of ballots cast in the election
district in any of the previous three general primary elections
at which candidates for the office of President of the United
States were not nominated;
(2) the general primary election held in even-numbered years
in which candidates for the office of President of the United
States are nominated in an amount of at least fifteen per centum
greater than the highest number of ballots cast in the election
district in any of the previous three general primary elections
at which candidates for the office of President of the United
States were nominated;
(3) the municipal primary election held in odd-numbered
years in an amount of at least ten per centum greater than the
highest number of ballots cast in any of the previous three
municipal primary elections in the election district;
(4) the general election held in even-numbered years in
which candidates for the office of President of the United
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States are not elected in an amount of at least ten per centum
greater than the highest number of ballots cast in the election
district in any of the previous three general elections at which
candidates for the office of President of the United States were
not elected;
(5) the general election held in even-numbered years in
which candidates for the office of President of the United
States are elected in an amount of at least fifteen per centum
greater than the highest number of ballots cast in the election
districts in any of the previous three general elections at
which candidates for the office of President of the United
States were elected; and
(6) the municipal election held in odd-numbered years in an
amount of at least ten per centum greater than the highest
number of ballots cast in any of the previous three municipal
elections in the election district.
(b) The county board of each county shall also, in addition
to the number of ballots required to be printed for general
distribution, maintain a sufficient supply of such ballots at
the office of the county board for the use of absentee electors
or mail-in electors and for the use of any district, the ballots
for which may be lost, destroyed or stolen. They shall also
cause to be printed on tinted paper, and without the facsimile
endorsements, permanent binding or stubs, copies of the form of
ballots provided for each polling place at each primary or
election therein, which shall be called specimen ballots, and
which shall be of the same size and form as the official
ballots, and at each election they shall deliver to the election
officers, in addition to the official ballots to be used at such
election, a suitable supply of specimen ballots for the use of
the electors. At each primary, a suitable supply of specimen
ballots of each party shall be furnished.
Section 1107. Requirements of Voting Machines.--No voting
machine shall, upon any examination or reexamination, be
approved by the Secretary of the Commonwealth, or by any
examiner appointed by him, unless it shall, at the time, satisfy
the following requirements:
* * *
[(b) It shall permit each voter, at other than primary
elections, to vote a straight political party ticket in one
operation, and, in one operation, to vote for all the candidates
of one political party for presidential electors, and, in one
operation, to vote for all the candidates of one political party
for every office to be voted for, except those offices as to
which he votes for individual candidates.]
* * *
Section 1110. Form of Ballot Labels on Voting Machines.--
* * *
(h) The names of all candidates of a political party shall
appear in the same row or column, and except in cases of names
of presidential commitments of nominees for delegate or
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alternate delegate to political party National conventions no
other names shall appear in the same row or column[, to the left
or top of which shall be a straight party lever, by means of
which an elector may, in one operation, vote for all the
candidates of that political party for every office to be voted
for]. Where the names of the delegate or alternate delegate and
the presidential candidate he is supporting shall both appear,
the print size of the name of the delegate or alternate delegate
shall be equal to the size of the name of the particular
presidential candidate to whom he is committed, or in the case
where he is uncommitted, the word "uncommitted" shall appear in
the same size print. The names of such candidates shall be
arranged under or opposite the title of the office for which
they are candidates, and shall appear in the order of the votes
obtained by the candidate for Governor of the party nominated at
the last gubernatorial election, beginning with the party
obtaining the highest number of votes: Provided, however, That
in the case of parties or bodies not represented on the ballot
at the last gubernatorial election, the names of the candidates
of such parties shall be arranged alphabetically, according to
the party or body name. The names of all candidates of a
political body shall appear in the same row or column, and, if
the number of parties and bodies permits, each political body
shall be entitled exclusively to a separate row or column[, with
a straight party lever]. If, however, the number of political
parties and political bodies renders it impossible or
impracticable to so arrange the political bodies, in such case
said bodies shall not be entitled to a separate row or column
[and a straight party lever], but shall be listed by political
appellations on the first left hand or top row, with the
designating letter and number of the ballot label where their
candidates may be found, together with the political
appellations of other political bodies, whose candidates may be
interspersed on the same row or column. Subject to the aforesaid
limitations, the form and arrangement of ballot labels, as to
the placing thereon of political bodies, shall be within the
discretion of the county board.
* * *
Section 1107-A. Requirements of Electronic Voting Systems.--
No electronic voting system shall, upon any examination or
reexamination, be approved by the Secretary of the Commonwealth,
or by any examiner appointed by him, unless it shall be
established that such system, at the time of such examination or
reexamination:
* * *
[(3) Permits each voter, at other than primary elections, to
vote a straight political party ticket by one mark or act and,
by one mark or act, to vote for all the candidates of one
political party for presidential electors and, by one mark or
act, to vote for all the candidates of one political party for
every office to be voted for, and every such mark or act shall
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be equivalent to and shall be counted as a vote for every
candidate of the political party so marked including its
candidates for presidential electors, except with respect to
those offices as to which the voter has registered a vote for
individual candidates of the same or another political party or
political body, in which case the automatic tabulating equipment
shall credit the vote for that office only for the candidate
individually so selected, notwithstanding the fact that the
voter may not have individually voted for the full number of
candidates for that office for which he was entitled to vote.]
* * *
Section 1109-A. Forms.--(a) * * *
(2) The pages placed on the voting device shall be of
sufficient number to include, following the listing of
particular candidates, the names of candidates for any
nonpartisan offices and any measures for which a voter may be
qualified to vote on a given election day, provided further that
for municipal, general or special elections, the first ballot
page shall list in the order that such political parties are
entitled to priority on the ballot, the names of such political
parties [with designating arrows so as to indicate the voting
square or position on the ballot card where the voter may insert
by one mark or punch the straight party ticket of his choice].
* * *
[(d) In partisan elections the ballot cards shall include a
voting square or position whereby the voter may by one punch or
mark record a straight party ticket vote for all the candidates
of one party or may vote a split ticket for the candidates of
his choice.]
* * *
Section 1112-A. Election Day Procedures and the Process of
Voting.--(a) In an election district which uses an electronic
voting system in which votes are registered electronically, the
following procedures will be applicable for the conduct of the
election at the election district:
* * *
(2) At [primary] all elections, the voter shall be able to
vote for each candidate individually by the means provided. [At
all other elections, he may vote for each candidate
individually, or he may vote a straight political party ticket
in one operation by operating the straight political party
mechanism of the political party or political body of his
choice. He may also, after having operated the straight party
mechanism and before recording his vote, cancel the vote for any
candidate of such political party or political body and may
thereupon vote for a candidate of another party, or political
body for the same office.] The voter may also vote individually
for or against a question submitted to the vote of the electors.
* * *
(4) At any general election at which presidential electors
are to be chosen, each elector shall be permitted to vote by one
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operation for all the presidential electors of a political party
or political body. For each party or body nominating
presidential electors, a ballot label shall be provided
containing only the words "Presidential Electors," preceded by
the names of the party or body and followed by the names of the
candidates thereof for the Office of President and Vice-
President, and the corresponding counter or registering device
shall register votes cast for said electors when thus voted for
collectively. If any elector desires to vote a ticket for
presidential electors made up of the names of persons nominated
by different parties or bodies, or partially of names of persons
so in nomination and partially of names of persons not in
nomination by any party or body, he may write or deposit a paper
ballot prepared by himself in the receptacle provided in or on
the voting device for that purpose, or he may list their names
on the write-in ballot or envelope provided for that purpose.
The voting device shall be so constructed that it will not be
possible for any one voter to vote a straight party ticket for
presidential electors and at the same time to deposit a ballot
for presidential electors in a receptacle as [hereinabove]
provided in this section. When the votes for presidential
electors are counted, the votes appearing upon the counter or
registering device corresponding to the ballot label containing
the names of the candidates for President and Vice-President of
any party or body shall be counted as votes for each of the
candidates for presidential elector of such party or body, and
thereupon all candidates for presidential elector shall be
credited, in addition, with the votes cast for them upon the
ballots deposited in the machine, as [hereinabove] provided in
this section.
* * *
(b) In an election district which uses an electronic voting
system which utilizes paper ballots or ballot cards to register
the votes, the following procedures will be applicable for the
conduct of the election at the election district:
* * *
(4) If the voter desires to vote for every candidate of a
political party or political body, except its candidates for
offices as to which he votes for individual candidates in the
manner hereinafter provided, he may make a cross (X) or check
( ) or punch or mark sense mark in the square opposite the name
of the party or political body so marked, including its
candidates for presidential electors, except for those offices
as to which he has indicated a choice for individual candidates
of the same or another party or political body, by making a
cross (X) or check ( ) or punch or mark sense mark opposite
their names in the manner hereinabove provided, as to which
offices his ballot shall be counted only for the candidates
which he has thus individually marked, notwithstanding the fact
that he made a mark in the party column, and even though in the
case of an office for which more than one candidate is to be
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voted for, he has not individually marked for such office the
full number of candidates for which he is entitled to vote. If
he desires to vote for the entire group of presidential electors
nominated by any party or political body, he may make a cross
(X) or check ( ) or punch or mark sense mark in the appropriate
space opposite the names of the candidates for President and
Vice-President of such party or body. If he desires to vote a
ticket for presidential electors made up of the names of persons
nominated by different parties or political bodies, or partially
of names of persons so in nomination and partially of names of
persons not in nomination by any party or political body, or
wholly of names of persons not in nomination by any party or
political body, he shall insert, by writing or stamping, the
names of the candidates for presidential electors for whom he
desires to vote in the blank spaces provided therefor on the
write-in ballot under the title of the office "Presidential
Electors". In case of a question submitted to the vote of the
electors, he may make a cross (X) or check ( ) or punch or mark
sense mark in the appropriate square opposite the answer which
he desires to give.
* * *
Section 1113-A. Post Election Procedures.--* * *
(d) In returning any votes cast for any person whose name is
not printed on the official ballot, the election officers shall
record any such names exactly as they were written[, stamped or
applied to the ballot by sticker] or stamped.
* * *
Section 1210. Manner of Applying to Vote; Persons Entitled
to Vote; Voter's Certificates; Entries to Be Made in District
Register; Numbered Lists of Voters; Challenges.--* * *
(a.4) (1) At all elections an individual who claims to be
properly registered and eligible to vote at the election
district but whose name does not appear on the district register
and whose registration cannot be determined by the inspectors of
election or the county election board shall be permitted to cast
a provisional ballot. Individuals who appear to vote shall be
required to produce proof of identification pursuant to
subsection (a) and if unable to do so shall be permitted to cast
a provisional ballot. An individual presenting a judicial order
to vote shall be permitted to cast a provisional ballot. An
elector who appears to vote on election day having requested an
absentee ballot or mail-in ballot and who is not shown on the
district register as having voted an absentee ballot or mail-in
ballot shall be permitted to cast a provisional ballot.
* * *
(5) * * *
(ii) A provisional ballot shall not be counted if:
(A) either the provisional ballot envelope under clause (3)
or the affidavit under clause (2) is not signed by the
individual;
(B) the signature required under clause (3) and the
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signature required under clause (2) are either not genuine or
are not executed by the same individual;
(C) a provisional ballot envelope does not contain a secrecy
envelope;
(D) in the case of a provisional ballot that was cast under
subsection (a.2)(1)(i), within six calendar days following the
election the elector fails to appear before the county board of
elections to execute an affirmation or the county board of
elections does not receive an electronic, facsimile or paper
copy of an affirmation affirming, under penalty of perjury, that
the elector is the same individual who personally appeared
before the district election board on the day of the election
and cast a provisional ballot and that the elector is indigent
and unable to obtain proof of identification without the payment
of a fee; or
(E) in the case of a provisional ballot that was cast under
subsection (a.2)(1)(ii), within six calendar days following the
election, the elector fails to appear before the county board of
elections to present proof of identification and execute an
affirmation or the county board of elections does not receive an
electronic, facsimile or paper copy of the proof of
identification and an affirmation affirming, under penalty of
perjury, that the elector is the same individual who personally
appeared before the district election board on the day of the
election and cast a provisional ballot.
(F) The elector's absentee ballot or mail-in ballot is
timely received by a county board of elections
* * *
Section 1215. Method of Marking Ballots and Depositing Same
in Districts in Which Ballots are Used.--* * *
(b) At primaries, the elector shall prepare his ballot in
the following manner: He shall vote for the candidates of his
choice for nomination or election, according to the number of
persons to be voted for by him, for each office, by making a
cross (X) or check ( ) mark in the square opposite the name of
the candidate, or he may insert by writing[,] or stamping [or
sticker,] in the blank space provided therefor, any name not
already printed on the ballot, and such insertion shall count as
a vote without the making of a cross (X) or check ( ) mark. In
districts in which paper ballots or ballot cards are
electronically tabulated, stickers or labels may not be used to
mark ballots.
(c) At elections, the elector shall prepare his ballot in
the following manner: He may vote for the candidates of his
choice for each office to be filled according to the number of
persons to be voted for by him for each office, by making a
cross (X) or check ( ) mark in the square opposite the name of
the candidate, or he may insert by writing[,] or stamping [or
sticker,] in the blank spaces provided therefor, any name not
already printed on the ballot, and such insertion shall count as
a vote without the making of a cross (X) or check ( ) mark. In
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districts in which paper ballots or ballot cards are
electronically tabulated, stickers or labels may not be used to
mark ballots. If he desires to vote for every candidate of a
political party or political body, except its candidates for
offices as to which he votes for individual candidates in the
manner hereinafter provided, he may make a cross (X) or check
( ) mark in the square opposite the name of the party or
political body of his choice in the party column on the left of
the ballot, and every such cross (X) or check ( ) mark shall be
equivalent to and be counted as a vote for every candidate of a
party or political body so marked, including its candidates for
presidential electors, except for those offices as to which he
has indicated a choice for individual candidates of the same or
another party or political body, by making a cross (X) or check
( ) mark opposite their names in the manner hereinabove
provided, as to which offices his ballot shall be counted only
for the candidates which he has thus individually marked,
notwithstanding the fact that he made a mark in the party
column, and even though in the case of an office for which more
than one candidate is to be voted for, he has not individually
marked for such office the full number of candidates for which
he is entitled to vote. If he desires to vote for the entire
group of presidential electors nominated by any party or
political body, he may make a cross (X) or check ( ) mark in the
appropriate square at the right of the names of the candidates
for President and Vice-President of such party or body. If he
desires to vote a ticket for presidential electors made up of
the names of persons nominated by different parties or political
bodies, or partially of names of persons so in nomination and
partially of names of persons not in nomination by any party or
political body, or wholly of names of persons not in nomination
by any party or political body, he shall insert, by writing or
stamping, the names of the candidates for presidential electors
for whom he desires to vote in the blank spaces provided
therefor under the title of the office "Presidential Electors."
In case of a question submitted to the vote of the electors, he
may make a cross (X) or check ( ) mark in the appropriate square
opposite the answer which he desires to give.
* * *
Section 1216. Instructions of Voters and Manner of Voting in
Districts in Which Voting Machines are Used.--
* * *
(d) At [primaries, he] all elections, the elector shall vote
for each candidate individually by operating the key, handle,
pointer or knob, upon or adjacent to which the name of such
candidate is placed. [At elections, he may vote for each
candidate individually by operating the key, handle, pointer or
knob, upon or adjacent to which the names of candidates of his
choice are placed, or he may vote a straight political party
ticket in one operation by operating the straight political
party lever of the political party or political body of his
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choice, if such machine has thereon a separate lever for all the
candidates of the political body. He may also, after having
operated the straight party lever, and before recording his
vote, cancel the vote for any candidate of such political party
or political body by replacing the individual key, handle,
pointer or knob of such candidate, and may thereupon vote for a
candidate of another party, or political body for the same
office by operating the key, handle, pointer or knob, upon or
adjacent to which the name of such candidate appears.] In the
case of a question submitted to the vote of the electors, the
elector shall operate the key, handle, pointer or knob
corresponding to the answer which he desires to give.
* * *
(f) At any general election at which presidential electors
are to be chosen, each elector shall be permitted to vote by one
operation for all the presidential electors of a political party
or political body. For each party or body nominating
presidential electors, a ballot label shall be provided
containing only the words "Presidential Electors," preceded by
the names of the party or body and followed by the names of the
candidates thereof for the office of President and Vice-
President, and the corresponding counter or registering device
shall register votes cast for said electors when thus voted for
collectively. If an elector desires to vote a ticket for
presidential electors made up of the names of persons nominated
by different parties or bodies, or partially of names of persons
so in nomination and partially of names of persons not in
nomination by any party or body, or wholly of names of persons
not in nomination by any party or body, he may write or deposit
a paper ballot prepared by himself in the receptacle provided in
or on the machine for the purpose. The machine shall be so
constructed that it will not be possible for any one voter to
vote a straight party ticket for presidential electors and at
the same time to deposit a ballot for presidential electors in a
receptacle as [hereinabove] provided in this section. When the
votes for presidential electors are counted, the votes appearing
upon the counter or registering device corresponding to the
ballot label containing the names of the candidates for
President and Vice-President of any party or body shall be
counted as votes for each of the candidates for presidential
elector of such party or body, and thereupon all candidates for
presidential elector shall be credited, in addition, with the
votes cast for them upon the ballots deposited in the machine,
as [hereinabove] provided in this section.
* * *
Section 1222. Count and Return of Votes in Districts in
Which Ballots are Used.--
(a) As soon as all the ballots have been properly accounted
for, and those outside the ballot box, as well as the "Voting
Check List," numbered lists of voters and district register
sealed, the election officers shall forthwith open the ballot
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box, and take therefrom all ballots therein, and at primaries,
separate the same according to the party to which they belong.
The ballots shall then be counted one by one, and a record made
of the total number, and at primaries of the total number cast
for each party. Then the judge, under the scrutiny of the
minority inspector, or the minority inspector, under the
scrutiny of the judge, in the presence of the other officers,
clerks, and of the overseers, if any, and within the hearing and
sight of the watchers outside the enclosed space, shall read
aloud the names of the candidates marked or inserted upon each
ballot (at primaries the ballots of each party being read in
sequence), together with the office for which the person named
is a candidate, and the answers contained on the ballots to the
questions submitted, if any, and the majority inspector and
clerks shall carefully enter each vote as read, and keep account
of the same in ink in triplicate tally papers (triplicate tally
papers for each party at primaries) to be provided by the county
board of elections for that purpose, all three of which shall be
made at the same time.[: Provided, That at all general,
municipal and special elections, in entering each vote received
by candidates at such election, it shall not be necessary to
enter separate tally marks for each vote received by such
candidates upon the ballots containing the same votes for the
same names, commonly known, and in this act designated as
"Straight Party Tickets" for such purpose straight party ticket
votes shall be entered carefully as each straight party ticket
vote is read on the triplicate tally sheets under the heading
"Number of votes received upon
the .............................. straight party tickets." Upon
completing the number of votes received by each straight party
ticket, the number so tallied for each party shall be entered
numerically on the extreme right hand margin of each such tally
paper.] All ballots, after being removed from the box, shall be
kept within the unobstructed view of all persons in the voting
room until replaced in the box. No person while handling the
ballots shall have in his hand any pencil, pen, stamp or other
means of marking or spoiling any ballot. The election officers
shall forthwith proceed to canvass and compute the votes cast,
and shall not adjourn or postpone the canvass or computation
until it shall have been fully completed.
(b) When the vote cast for the different persons named upon
the ballots and upon the questions, if any, appearing thereon,
shall have been fully recorded in the tally papers and counted,
the election officers shall duly certify to the number of votes
cast for each person (upon the respective party tickets at
primaries), and shall prepare in ink two (2) general returns,
showing, in addition to the entries made thereon as aforesaid,
the total number of ballots received from the county board (the
total of each party at primaries), the number of ballots cast
(the number of each party at primaries), the number of ballots
(of each party at primaries) declared void, and the number of
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ballots spoiled and cancelled, and any blank ballots cast, as
well as the votes cast for each candidate. At elections, the
number of votes cast for each candidate by each political party
or political body of which such candidate is a nominee shall be
separately stated.[: Provided, That the number of votes received
by each set of candidates upon "straight party tickets" shall be
entered opposite the names of the respective candidates in a
column immediately adjoining upon the left which column shall be
of convenient width and shall be headed "number of votes
received upon straight party tickets."] In an immediate column
to the left thereto, the number of votes received by each
candidate upon all ballots [other than "straight party tickets"
including all ballots known as "split tickets"] shall be
entered, such column to be of convenient width and shall be
headed "number of votes [received other than upon straight party
tickets." The number of votes received by each candidate as
shown in the column headed "number of votes received upon
straight party tickets" shall then be added, together with the
number of votes received by each candidate as shown in the
column headed "number of votes received other than upon straight
party tickets" and thereupon, the] received." The total number
of votes received by each candidate shall be entered in a column
on the extreme right-hand side of the return sheets, which
column shall be of convenient width and shall be headed "total
number of votes."
Nothing in this section contained shall be construed to
authorize or permit the canvassing, counting or tallying ballots
with any less degree of strictness than otherwise required by
law.[, the intention of this section being to dispense with the
individual tally marks only so far as the so-called "straight
party tickets" are concerned, and all other operations of
tallying, counting, canvassing and announcing the votes shall
proceed as near as may be in accordance with the other
provisions of this act.]
(c) In returning any votes cast for any person whose name is
not printed on the ballot, the election officers shall record
any such names exactly as they were written[,] or stamped [or
applied to] upon the ballot [by sticker]. In districts in which
paper ballots or ballot cards are electronically tabulated,
stickers or labels may not be used to mark ballots. A vote cast
by means of a sticker or label affixed to a ballot or ballot
card shall be void and may not be counted.
Section 1223. What Ballots Shall Be Counted; Manner of
Counting; Defective Ballots.--(a) No ballot which is so marked
as to be capable of identification shall be counted. Any ballot
that is marked in blue, black or blue-black ink, in fountain pen
or ball point pen, or black lead pencil or indelible pencil,
shall be valid and counted: Provided, That all markings on the
ballot are made by the same pen or pencil. Any ballot marked by
any other mark than an (X) or check ( ) in the spaces provided
for that purpose shall be void and not counted: Provided,
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however, That no vote recorded thereon shall be declared void
because a cross (X) or check ( ) mark thereon is irregular in
form. [Any erasure, mutilation or defective marking of the
straight party column at November elections shall render the
entire ballot void, unless the voter has properly indicated his
choice for candidates in any office block, in which case the
vote or votes for such candidates only shall be counted.] Any
erasure or mutilation in the vote in any office block shall
render void the vote for any candidates in said block, but shall
not invalidate the votes cast on the remainder of the ballot, if
otherwise properly marked. Any ballot indicating a vote for any
person whose name is not printed on the ballot, by writing[,
stamping or sticker] or stamping, shall be counted as a vote for
such person, if placed in the proper space or spaces provided
for that purpose, whether or not an (X) or check ( ) is placed
after the name of such person: Provided, however, That if such
writing[, stamping or sticker] or stamping is placed over the
name of a candidate printed on the ballot, it shall render the
entire vote in said office block void. In districts in which
paper ballots or ballot cards are electronically tabulated,
stickers or labels may not be used to mark ballots. A vote cast
by means of a sticker or label affixed to a ballot or ballot
card shall be void and may not be counted. If an elector shall
mark his ballot for more persons for any office than there are
candidates to be voted for for such office, or if, for any
reason, it may be impossible to determine his choice for any
office, his ballot shall not be counted for such office, but the
ballot shall be counted for all offices for which it is properly
marked. Ballots not marked, or improperly or defectively marked,
so that the whole ballot is void, shall be set aside and shall
be preserved with the other ballots.
* * *
Section 1227. Canvass and Return of Votes in Districts in
Which Voting Machines are Used.--* * *
(d) The election officers, on the foregoing returns, shall
record any votes which have been cast for a person whose name is
not printed on the ballot labels, by means of an irregular
ballot, as defined herein. In returning any such votes which
have been written[,] or deposited [or affixed] upon receptacles
or devices provided for the purpose, the election officers shall
record any such names exactly as they were written[,] or
deposited [or affixed].
Section 4. The act is amended by adding sections to read:
Section 1231. Deadline for Receipt of Valid Voter
Registration Application.--(a) Except as provided under
subsection (b), each commission, commissioner and registrar or
clerk appointed by the commission shall receive, during ordinary
business hours and during additional hours as the commission
prescribes, at the office of the commission and at additional
places as the commission designates, applications from
individuals who apply to be registered to vote as provided under
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25 Pa.C.S. Part IV (relating to voter registration) who appear
and claim that they are entitled to be registered as electors of
a municipality.
(b) In the administration of voter registration, each
commission shall ensure that an applicant who is a qualified
elector is registered to vote in an election when the applicant
has met any of the following conditions:
(1) In the case of voter registration with a motor vehicle
driver's license application under 25 Pa.C.S. § 1323 (relating
to application with driver's license application), if the valid
voter registration application is received by the appropriate
commission not later than fifteen days before the election.
(2) (Reserved).
(3) In the case of voter registration at a voter
registration agency under 25 Pa.C.S. § 1325 (relating to
government agencies), if the valid voter registration
application is received by the appropriate commission not later
than fifteen days before the election.
(4) In any other case, if the valid voter registration
application of the applicant is received by the appropriate
commission not later than fifteen days before the election.
(c) (1) In the case of a special election within a
congressional, senatorial or representative district held on a
day other than the day of a primary, general or municipal
election, the registration application forms shall not be
processed in the wards and election districts comprising the
district for the fifteen days prior to the special election for
such election.
(2) No applications shall be received as follows:
(i) On Sundays.
(ii) On holidays.
(iii) On the day of the election.
(iv) During the fifteen days next preceding each general,
municipal and primary election except as provided under
subsection (b).
(d) As used in this section, the following words and phrases
shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection unless
the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Commission" shall mean a registration commission established
under 25 Pa.C.S. § 1203 (relating to commissions).
"Commissioner" shall mean a member of a commission.
Section 1232. Appeals.--(a) An individual whose application
to be registered has been denied may file with the commission a
petition to be registered, setting forth the grounds of the
petition under oath or affirmation. The petition must be filed
by the eighth day prior to an election.
(b) (1) The commission shall fix a time for a public
hearing at its office not later than the fifth day prior to the
election.
(2) The commission shall give the person responsible for the
rejection forty-eight hours' notice of the hearing.
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(3) At the hearing, a clerk, inspector of registration or
qualified elector of the county may offer evidence as to why the
petitioner should not be registered.
(4) The commission, if satisfied that the petitioner is
entitled to be registered, shall direct registration.
(c) As used in this section, the following words and phrases
shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection unless
the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Commission" shall mean a registration commission established
under 25 Pa.C.S. § 1203 (relating to commissions).
Section 1233. Appeals to Court of Common Pleas.--(a) An
applicant whose claim for registration under section 1231 and 25
Pa.C.S. Part IV (relating to voter registration) has been denied
shall have standing to appeal an action of a commission to the
appropriate court of common pleas.
(b) An appeal under subsection (a) must be made by the third
day preceding an election.
(c) The appeal must request relief and specify the grounds
for relief.
(d) Upon timely receipt of an appeal under this section, the
court shall conduct a hearing.
(e) If the court finds that an injustice has been done, the
court shall reverse or modify the ruling of the commission and
issue appropriate injunctive relief.
(f) The following shall apply:
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), the court may award
costs for the appeal to the prevailing party.
(2) Costs may not be assessed against a commission or a
county.
(e) As used in this section, "commission" shall mean a
registration commission established under 25 Pa.C.S. § 1203
(relating to commissions).
Section 5. Section 1302(c), (d), (e.1) and (i) of the act
are amended and the section is amended by adding a subsection to
read:
Section 1302. Applications for Official Absentee Ballots.--*
* *
(c) [The application of any qualified elector, as defined in
section 1301(a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), (g) and (h), for an
official absentee ballot in any primary or election may not be
made over the signature of any person, other than the qualified
elector or an adult member of his immediate family, as required
in the preceding subsection.] A qualified absentee military or
overseas elector, as defined by the Uniformed and Overseas
Citizens Absentee Voting Act (Public Law 99-410, 100 Stat. 924),
may submit his application for an official absentee ballot by
[facsimile method if the original application is received prior
to the election by the county election office. The absentee
ballot of the qualified military or overseas elector shall not
be counted unless the elector's original application is received
prior to the election by the county election office. The
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facsimile] electronic transmission method. The electronic
transmission method shall not be acceptable for the official
absentee ballot. As used in this subsection, "electronic
transmission method" means any technology that can transmit a
document or an image of a document via electronic or
electromechanical means, including, but not limited to,
facsimile method. An elector entitled to submit an application
for an official absentee ballot under a method authorized under
25 Pa.C.S. Ch. 35 (relating to uniform military and overseas
voters) may submit an application using a method authorized
under 25 Pa.C.S. Ch. 35, in addition to the methods authorized
in this article.
(d) The application of any qualified elector, as defined in
preceding section 1301, subsections [(b)] (a) to (h), inclusive,
for an official absentee ballot in any primary or election shall
be signed by the applicant[.], except that for electors under
section 1301(a), an adult member of the applicant's immediate
family may sign the application on the elector's behalf.
* * *
(e.1) Any qualified registered elector[, including any
qualified bedridden or hospitalized veteran,] who is unable
because of illness or physical disability to attend his polling
place on the day of any primary or election or operate a voting
machine and state distinctly and audibly that he is unable to do
so as required by section 1218 of this act may, with the
certification by his attending physician that he is permanently
disabled, and physically unable to attend the polls or operate a
voting machine and make the distinct and audible statement
required by section 1218 appended to the application
hereinbefore required, be placed on a permanently disabled
absentee ballot list file. An absentee ballot application shall
be mailed to every such person [for each primary or election]
otherwise eligible to receive one, by the first Monday in
February each year, so long as he does not lose his voting
rights by failure to vote as otherwise required by this act.
Such person shall not be required to file a physician's
certificate of disability with each application as required in
subsection (e) of this section [but such person must submit a
written statement asserting continuing disability every four
years in order to maintain his eligibility to vote under the
provisions of this subsection]. Should any such person lose his
disability he shall inform the county board of elections of the
county of his residence. An absentee ballot application mailed
to a voter under this section, which is completed and timely
returned by the voter, shall serve as an application for any and
all primary, general or special elections to be held in the
remainder of that calendar year and for all special elections to
be held before the third Monday in February of the succeeding
year.
* * *
(i) (1) Application for official absentee ballots shall be
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on physical and electronic forms prescribed by the Secretary of
the Commonwealth. The application shall state that [a voter] an
elector who receives and votes an absentee ballot pursuant to
section 1301 [and who, on election day, is capable of voting at
the appropriate polling place must void the absentee ballot and
vote in the normal manner at the appropriate voting place] shall
not be eligible to vote at a polling place on election day. Such
physical application forms shall be made freely available to the
public at county board of elections, municipal buildings and at
such other locations designated by the secretary. Such
electronic application forms shall be made freely available to
the public through publicly accessible means. No written
application or personal request shall be necessary to receive or
access the application forms. Copies and records of all
completed physical and electronic applications for official
absentee ballots shall be retained by the county board of
elections.
(2) Nothing in this act shall prohibit a private
organization or individual from printing blank voter
applications for absentee ballots or shall prohibit the use of
such applications by another individual, provided the form,
content and paper quality have been approved by the Secretary of
the Commonwealth.
* * *
(k) The Secretary of the Commonwealth may develop an
electronic system through which all qualified electors may apply
for an absentee ballot and request permanent absentee voter
status under subsection (e.1), provided the system is able to
capture a digitized or electronic signature of the applicant. A
county board of elections shall treat any application or request
received through the electronic system as if the application or
request had been submitted on a paper form or any other format
used by the county.
Section 5.1. Sections 1302.1, 1302.2, 1302.3 heading, (a)
and (c), 1303(d) and (e) and 1305(b) of the act are amended to
read:
Section 1302.1. Date of Application for Absentee Ballot.--
(a) Except as provided in [subsections (a.1) and (a.2)]
subsection (a.3), applications for absentee ballots shall be
received in the office of the county board of elections not
earlier than fifty (50) days before the primary or election
[and], except that if a county board of elections determines
that it would be appropriate to its operational needs, any
applications for absentee ballots received more than fifty (50)
days before the primary or election may be processed before that
time. Applications for absentee ballots shall be processed if
received not later than five o'clock P.M. of the first Tuesday
prior to the day of any primary or election.
[(a.1) Except as provided in subsection (a.2), in the event
any elector otherwise qualified who is so physically disabled or
ill on or before the first Tuesday prior to any primary or
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election that he is unable to file his application or who
becomes physically disabled or ill after the first Tuesday prior
to any primary or election and is unable to appear at his
polling place or any elector otherwise qualified who because of
the conduct of his business, duties or occupation will
necessarily be absent from the municipality of his residence on
the day of the primary or election, which fact was not and could
not reasonably be known to said elector on or before the first
Tuesday prior to any primary or election, the elector shall be
entitled to an absentee ballot at any time prior to five o'clock
P.M. on the first Friday preceding any primary or election upon
execution of an Emergency Application in such form prescribed by
the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
(a.2) In the event any elector otherwise qualified who
becomes so physically disabled or ill between five o'clock P.M.
on the first Friday preceding any primary or election and eight
o'clock P.M. on the day of any primary or election that he is
unable to appear at his polling place or any elector otherwise
qualified who because of the conduct of his business, duties or
occupation will necessarily be absent from the municipality of
his residence on the day of the primary or election, which fact
was not and could not reasonably be known to said elector prior
to five o'clock P.M. on the first Friday preceding any primary
or election, the elector shall be entitled to an absentee ballot
if the elector completes and files with the court of common
pleas in the county in which the elector is qualified to vote an
Emergency Application or a letter or other signed document,
which includes the same information as is provided on the
Emergency Application. Upon a determination that the elector is
a qualified absentee elector under section 1301, the judge shall
issue an absentee ballot to the elector.]
(a.3) (1) The following categories of electors may apply
for an absentee ballot under this subsection, if otherwise
qualified:
(i) An elector whose physical disability or illness
prevented the elector from applying for an absentee ballot
before five o'clock P.M. on the first Tuesday prior to the day
of the primary or election.
(ii) An elector who, because of the elector's business,
duties or occupation, was unable to apply for an absentee ballot
before five o'clock P.M. on the first Tuesday prior to the day
of the primary or election.
(iii) An elector who becomes so physically disabled or ill
after five o'clock P.M. on the first Tuesday prior to the day of
the primary or election that the elector is unable to appear at
the polling place on the day of the primary or election.
(iv) An elector who, because of the conduct of the elector's
business, duties or occupation, will necessarily be absent from
the elector's municipality of residence on the day of the
primary or election, which fact was not and could not reasonably
be known to the elector on or before five o'clock P.M. on the
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first Tuesday prior to the day of the primary or election.
(2) An elector described in paragraph (1) may submit an
application for an absentee ballot at any time up until the time
of the closing of the polls on the day of the primary or
election. The application shall include a declaration describing
the circumstances that prevented the elector from applying for
an absentee ballot before five o'clock P.M. on the first Tuesday
prior to the day of the primary or election or that prevent the
elector from appearing at the polling place on the day of the
primary or election, and the elector's qualifications under
paragraph (1). The declaration shall be made subject to the
provisions of 18 Pa.C.S. § 4904 (relating to unsworn
falsification to authorities).
(3) If the county board of elections determines that the
elector meets the requirements of this section, the board shall
issue an absentee ballot to the elector.
(4) If the elector is unable to appear [in court] at the
office of the county board of elections to receive the ballot,
the [judge] board shall give the elector's absentee ballot to an
authorized representative of the elector who is designated in
writing by the elector. The authorized representative shall
deliver the absentee ballot to the elector and return the
completed absentee ballot, sealed in the official absentee
ballot envelopes, to the office of the county board of
elections, [who] which shall [distribute] retain the ballot,
unopened, [to the absentee voter's election district] until the
canvassing of all absentee ballots.
(5) Multiple people qualified under this subsection may
designate the same person, and a single person may serve as the
authorized representative for multiple qualified electors.
(6) If the elector is unable to appear [in court] at the
office of the county board of elections or unable to obtain
assistance from an authorized representative, the county board
may provide an authorized representative or ask the judge
[shall] of the court of common pleas in the county in which the
elector is qualified to vote to direct a deputy sheriff of the
county to deliver the absentee ballot to the elector if the
elector is at a physical location within the county and return
the completed absentee ballot, sealed in the official absentee
ballot envelopes, to the county board of elections[, who shall
distribute the ballots, unopened, to the absentee voter's
respective election district]. If there is no authorized
representative and a deputy sheriff is unavailable to deliver an
absentee ballot under this section, the judge may direct a
constable to make such delivery in accordance with the
provisions of this section.
(7) In the case of an elector who requires assistance in
marking the elector's ballot, the elector shall designate in
writing the person who will assist in marking the ballot. Such
person shall be otherwise eligible to provide assistance to
electors eligible for assistance, and such person shall declare
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in writing that assistance was rendered. Any person other than
the designee who shall render assistance in marking a ballot or
any person rendering assistance who shall fail to execute a
declaration shall be guilty of a violation of this act.
(8) No absentee ballot under this subsection shall be
counted which is received in the office of the county board of
elections later than [eight o'clock P.M. on the day of the
primary or election] the deadline for its receipt as provided in
section 1308(g).
(b) In the case of an elector whose application for an
absentee ballot is received by the office of the county board of
elections earlier than fifty (50) days before the primary or
election, the application shall be held and processed upon
commencement of the fifty-day period or at such earlier time as
the county board of elections determines may be appropriate.
[(c) In the case of an elector who is physically disabled or
ill on or before the first Tuesday prior to a primary or
election or becomes physically disabled or ill after the first
Tuesday prior to a primary or election, such Emergency
Application, letter or other signed document shall contain a
supporting affidavit from his attending physician stating that
due to physical disability or illness said elector was unable to
apply for an absentee ballot on or before the first Tuesday
prior to the primary or election or became physically disabled
or ill after that period.
(d) In the case of an elector who is necessarily absent
because of the conduct of his business, duties or occupation
under the unforeseen circumstances specified in subsections
(a.1) and (a.2), such Emergency Application, letter or other
signed document shall contain a supporting affidavit from such
elector stating that because of the conduct of his business,
duties or occupation said elector will necessarily be absent
from the municipality of his residence on the day of the primary
or election which fact was not and could not reasonably be known
to said elector on or before the first Tuesday prior to the
primary or election.]
Section 1302.2. Approval of Application for Absentee
Ballot.--
(a) The county board of elections, upon receipt of any
application filed by a qualified elector not required to be
registered under preceding section 1301, shall ascertain from
the information on such application, district register or from
any other source that such applicant possesses all the
qualifications of a qualified elector other than being
registered or enrolled. If the board is satisfied that the
applicant is qualified to receive an official absentee ballot,
the application shall be marked approved such approval decision
shall be final and binding except that challenges may be made
only on the ground that the applicant did not possess
qualifications of an absentee elector. Such challenges must be
made to the county board of elections prior to [5:00 o'clock
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P.M. on the first Friday prior to the election.] the applicable
deadline for the absentee ballots to be received, as provided in
section 1308(g). When so approved, the county board of elections
shall cause the applicant's name and residence (and at a
primary, the party enrollment) to be inserted in the Military,
Veterans and Emergency Civilians Absentee Voters File as
provided in section 1302.3, subsection (b): Providing, however,
That no application of any qualified elector in military service
shall be rejected for failure to include on [his] the elector's
application any information if such information may be
ascertained within a reasonable time by the county board of
elections.
(b) The county board of elections, upon receipt of any
application filed by a qualified elector who is entitled, under
the provisions of the Permanent Registration Law as now or
hereinafter enacted by the General Assembly, to absentee
registration prior to or concurrently with the time of voting as
provided under preceding section 1301, shall ascertain from the
information on such application or from any other source that
such applicant possesses all the qualifications of a qualified
elector. If the board is satisfied that the applicant is
entitled, under the provisions of the Permanent Registration Law
as now or hereinafter enacted by the General Assembly, to
absentee registration prior to or concurrently with the time of
voting and that the applicant is qualified to receive an
official absentee ballot, the application shall be marked
"approved." Such approval decision shall be final and binding
except that challenges may be made only on the ground that the
applicant did not possess the qualifications of an absentee
elector prior to or concurrently with the time of voting. Such
challenges must be made to the county board of elections prior
to [5:00 o'clock P.M. on the first Friday prior to the
election.] the applicable deadline for the absentee ballots to
be received, as provided in section 1308(g). When so approved,
the county board of elections shall cause the applicant's name
and residence (and at a primary, the party enrollment) to be
inserted in the Military, Veterans and Emergency Civilian
Absentee Voters File as provided in section 1302.3 subsection
(b).
(c) The county board of elections, upon receipt of any
application of a qualified elector required to be registered
under the provisions of preceding section 1301, shall determine
the qualifications of such applicant by verifying the proof of
identification and comparing the information set forth on such
application with the information contained on the applicant's
permanent registration card. If the board is satisfied that the
applicant is qualified to receive an official absentee ballot,
the application shall be marked "approved." Such approval
decision shall be final and binding, except that challenges may
be made only on the ground that the applicant did not possess
the qualifications of an absentee elector. Such challenges must
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be made to the county board of elections prior to [5:00 o'clock
P.M. on the first Friday prior to the election.] the applicable
deadline for the absentee ballots to be received, as provided in
section 1308(g). When so approved, the registration commission
shall cause an absentee voter's temporary registration card to
be inserted in the district register on top of and along with
the permanent registration card. The absentee voter's temporary
registration card shall be in the color and form prescribed in
subsection (e) of this section:
Provided, however, That the duties of the county boards of
elections and the registration commissions with respect to the
insertion of the absentee voter's temporary registration card of
any elector from the district register as set forth in section
1302.2 shall include only such applications and emergency
applications as are received on or before the first Tuesday
prior to the primary or election. In all cases where
applications are received after the first Tuesday prior to the
primary or election and before [five o'clock P. M. on the first
Friday prior to] eight o'clock P.M. on the day of the primary or
election, the county board of elections shall determine the
qualifications of such applicant by verifying the proof of
identification and comparing the information set forth on such
application with the information contained on the applicant's
duplicate registration card on file in the General Register
(also referred to as the Master File) in the office of the
Registration Commission and shall cause the name and residence
(and at primaries, the party enrollment) to be inserted in the
Military, Veterans and Emergency Civilian Absentee Voters File
as provided in section 1302.3, subsection (b). [In addition, the
local district boards of elections shall, upon canvassing the
official absentee ballots under section 1308, examine the voting
check list of the election district of said elector's residence
and satisfy itself that such elector did not cast any ballot
other than the one properly issued to him under his absentee
ballot application. In all cases where the examination of the
local district board of elections discloses that an elector did
vote a ballot other than the one properly issued to him under
the absentee ballot application, the local district board of
elections shall thereupon cancel said absentee ballot and said
elector shall be subject to the penalties as hereinafter set
forth.]
(d) In the event that any application for an official
absentee ballot is not approved by the county board of
elections, the elector shall be notified immediately to that
effect with a statement by the county board of the reasons for
the disapproval. For those applicants whose proof of
identification was not provided with the application or could
not be verified by the board, the board shall send notice to the
elector with the absentee ballot requiring the elector to
provide proof of identification with the absentee ballot or the
ballot will not be counted.
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(e) The absentee voter's temporary registration card shall
be in duplicate and the same size as the permanent registration
card, in a different and contrasting color to the permanent
registration card and shall contain the absentee voter's name
and address and shall conspicuously contain the words "Absentee
Voter." [Such card shall also contain the affidavit required by
subsection (b) of section 1306.]
(f) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, a
qualified absentee elector shall not be required to provide
proof of identification if the elector is entitled to vote by
absentee ballot under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens
Absentee Voting Act (Public Law 99-410, 100 Stat. 924) or by an
alternative ballot under the Voting Accessibility for the
Elderly and Handicapped Act (Public Law 98-435, 98 Stat. 1678).
Section 1302.3. Absentee and Mail-in Electors Files and
Lists.--(a) The county board of elections shall maintain at its
office a file containing the duplicate absentee voter's
temporary registration cards of every registered elector to whom
an absentee ballot has been sent. Such duplicate absentee
voter's temporary registration cards shall be filed by election
districts and within each election district in exact
alphabetical order and indexed. The registration cards and the
registration cards under section 1302.3-D so filed shall
constitute the Registered Absentee and Mail-in Voters File for
the Primary or Election of (date of primary or election) and
shall be kept on file for a period commencing the Tuesday prior
to the day of the primary or election until the day following
the primary or election or the day the county board of elections
certifies the returns of the primary or election, whichever date
is later. Such file shall be open to public inspection at all
times subject to reasonable safeguards, rules and regulations.
* * *
(c) Not less than five days preceding the election, the
chief clerk shall prepare a list for each election district
showing the names and post office addresses of all voting
residents thereof to whom official absentee or mail-in ballots
shall have been issued. Each such list shall be prepared in
duplicate, shall be headed "Persons in (give identity of
election district) to whom absentee or mail-in ballots have been
issued for the election of (date of election)," and shall be
signed by him not less than four days preceding the election. He
shall post the original of each such list in a conspicuous place
in the office of the county election board and see that it is
kept so posted until the close of the polls on election day. He
shall cause the duplicate of each such list to be delivered to
the judge of election in the election district in the same
manner and at the same time as are provided in this act for the
delivery of other election supplies, and it shall be the duty of
such judge of election to post such duplicate list in a
conspicuous place within the polling place of his district and
see that it is kept so posted throughout the time that the polls
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are open. Upon written request, he shall furnish a copy of such
list to any candidate or party county chairman.
Section 1303. Official Absentee Voters Ballots.--* * *
(d) In cases where there is not time to print on said
ballots the names of the various candidates, the county board of
elections shall print special write-in absentee ballots which
shall be in substantially the form of other official absentee
ballots except that such special write-in absentee ballots shall
contain blank spaces only under the titles of such offices in
which electors may insert, by writing or stamping, the names of
the candidates for whom they desire to vote, and in such cases
the county board of elections shall furnish to electors lists
containing the names of all the candidates named in nomination
petitions or who have been regularly nominated under the
provisions of this act, for the use of such electors in
preparing their ballots. Special write-in absentee ballots also
shall include all constitutional amendments and other questions
to be voted on by the electors.
(e) The official absentee voter ballot shall state that a
voter who receives an absentee ballot pursuant to section 1301
and whose ballot is not timely received and who, on election
day, is capable of voting at the appropriate polling place [must
void the absentee ballot and vote in the normal manner at the
appropriate voting place] may only vote on election day by
provisional ballot.
Section 1305. Delivering or Mailing Ballots.--
* * *
(b) (1) The county board of elections upon receipt and
approval of an application filed by any elector qualified in
accordance with the provisions of section 1301, subsections (i)
to (l), inclusive, shall commence to deliver or mail official
absentee ballots [on] as soon as a ballot is certified and the
ballots are available. While any proceeding is pending in a
Federal or State court which would affect the contents of any
ballot, the county board of elections may await a resolution of
that proceeding but in any event, shall commence to deliver or
mail official absentee ballots not later than the second Tuesday
prior to the primary or election. For those applicants whose
proof of identification was not provided with the application or
could not be verified by the board, the board shall send the
notice required under section 1302.2(d) with the absentee
ballot. As additional applications are received and approved
after the time that the county board of elections begins
delivering or mailing official absentee and mail-in ballots, the
board shall deliver or mail official absentee ballots to such
additional electors within forty-eight hours.
(2) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this act and
notwithstanding the inclusion of a mailing address on an
absentee or mail-in ballot application, a voter who presents the
voter's own application for an absentee or mail-in ballot within
the office of the county board of elections during regular
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business hours may request to receive the voter's absentee or
mail-in ballot while the voter is at the office. This request
may be made orally or in writing. Upon presentation of the
application and the making of the request and upon approval
under sections 1302.2 and 1302.2-D, the county board of
elections shall promptly present the voter with the voter's
absentee or mail-in ballot. If a voter presents the voter's
application within the county board of elections' office in
accordance with this section, a county board of elections may
not deny the voter's request to have the ballot presented to the
voter while the voter is at the office unless there is a bona
fide objection to the absentee or mail-in ballot application.
* * *
Section 6. Section 1306(a)(1) and (b) of the act are amended
and the section is amended by adding a subsection to read:
Section 1306. Voting by Absentee Electors.--(a) Except as
provided in paragraphs [(1),] (2) and (3), at any time after
receiving an official absentee ballot, but on or before [five
o'clock P.M. on the Friday prior to] eight o'clock P.M. the day
of the primary or election, the elector shall, in secret,
proceed to mark the ballot only in black lead pencil, indelible
pencil or blue, black or blue-black ink, in fountain pen or ball
point pen, and then fold the ballot, enclose and securely seal
the same in the envelope on which is printed, stamped or
endorsed "Official Absentee Ballot."
[(1) Any elector who submits an Emergency Application and
receives an absentee ballot in accordance with section
1302.1(a.2) or (c) shall mark the ballot on or before eight
o'clock P.M. on the day of the primary or election. This
envelope shall then be placed in the second one, on which is
printed the form of declaration of the elector, and the address
of the elector's county board of election and the local election
district of the elector. The elector shall then fill out, date
and sign the declaration printed on such envelope. Such envelope
shall then be securely sealed and the elector shall send same by
mail, postage prepaid, except where franked, or deliver it in
person to said county board of election.]
* * *
(b) [In the event that any such elector, excepting an
elector in military service or any elector unable to go to his
polling place because of illness or physical disability,
entitled to vote an official absentee ballot shall be in the
municipality of his residence on the day for holding the primary
or election for which the ballot was issued, or in the event any
such elector shall have recovered from his illness or physical
disability sufficiently to permit him to present himself at the
proper polling place for the purpose of casting his ballot, such
absentee ballot cast by such elector shall, be declared void.
Any such elector referred to in this subsection, who is
within the municipality of his residence, must present himself
at his polling place and shall be permitted to vote upon
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presenting himself at his regular polling place in the same
manner as he could have voted had he not received an absentee
ballot: Provided, That such elector has first presented himself
to the judge of elections in his local election district and
shall have signed the affidavit on the absentee voter's
temporary registration card, which affidavit shall be in
substantially the following form:
I hereby swear that I am a qualified registered elector who
has obtained an absentee ballot, however, I am present in the
municipality of my residence and physically able to present
myself at my polling place and therefore request that my
absentee ballot be voided.
..............................
(Date)
.............................. .............................
(Local Judge of Elections) (Signature of Elector)
An elector who has received an absentee ballot under the
emergency application provisions of section 1302.1, and for
whom, therefore, no temporary absentee voter's registration card
is in the district register, shall sign the aforementioned
affidavit in any case, which the local judge of elections shall
then cause to be inserted in the district register with the
elector's permanent registration card.]
(1) Any elector who receives and votes an absentee ballot
pursuant to section 1301 shall not be eligible to vote at a
polling place on election day. The district register at each
polling place shall clearly identify electors who have received
and voted absentee ballots as ineligible to vote at the polling
place, and district election officers shall not permit electors
who voted an absentee ballot to vote at the polling place.
(2) An elector who requests an absentee ballot and who is
not shown on the district register as having voted the ballot
may vote by provisional ballot under section 1210(a.4)(1).
(c) Except as provided under 25 Pa.C.S. § 3511 (relating to
receipt of voted ballot), a completed absentee ballot must be
received in the office of the county board of elections no later
than eight o'clock P.M. on the day of the primary or election.
Section 7. Sections 1308 heading, (a), (b), (b.1), (d), (e),
(f), (g)(1), (2), (3), (4) and (5) and (h) and 1309 of the act
are amended to read:
Section 1308. Canvassing of Official Absentee Ballots and
Mail-in Ballots.--(a) The county boards of election, upon
receipt of official absentee ballots in [such] sealed official
absentee ballot envelopes as provided under this article and
mail-in ballots as in sealed official mail-in ballot envelopes
as provided under Article XIII-D, shall safely keep the [same]
ballots in sealed or locked containers until they [distribute
same to the appropriate local election districts in a manner
prescribed by the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
Except as provided in section 1302.1(a.2), the county board
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of elections shall then distribute the absentee ballots,
unopened, to the absentee voter's respective election district
concurrently with the distribution of the other election
supplies. Absentee ballots shall be canvassed immediately and
continuously without interruption until completed after the
close of the polls on the day of the election in each election
district. The results of the canvass of the absentee ballots
shall then be included in and returned to the county board with
the returns of that district. Except as provided in section
1302.1(a.2) and subsection (g), no absentee ballot shall be
counted which is received in the office of the county board of
election later than five o'clock P.M. on the Friday immediately
preceding the primary or November election.] are to be canvassed
by the county board of elections. An absentee ballot, whether
issued to a civilian, military or other voter during the regular
or emergency application period, shall be canvassed in
accordance with subsection (g). A mail-in ballot shall be
canvassed in accordance with subsection (g).
(b) Watchers shall be permitted to be present when the
envelopes containing official absentee ballots and mail-in
ballots are opened and when such ballots are counted and
recorded.
[(b.1) In all election districts in which electronic voting
systems are used, absentee ballots shall be opened at the
election district, checked for write-in votes in accordance with
section 1113-A and then either hand-counted or counted by means
of the automatic tabulation equipment, whatever the case may
be.]
(d) Whenever it shall appear by due proof that any absentee
elector or mail-in elector who has returned his ballot in
accordance with the provisions of this act has died prior to the
opening of the polls on the day of the primary or election, the
ballot of such deceased elector shall be rejected by the
canvassers but the counting of the ballot of an absentee elector
or a mail-in elector thus deceased shall not of itself
invalidate any nomination or election.
[(e) At such time the local election board shall then
further examine the declaration on each envelope not so set
aside and shall compare the information thereon with that
contained in the "Registered Absentee Voters File," the absentee
voters' list and the "Military Veterans and Emergency Civilians
Absentee Voters File." If the local election board is satisfied
that the declaration is sufficient and the information contained
in the "Registered Absentee Voters File," the absentee voters'
list and the "Military Veterans and Emergency Civilians Absentee
Voters File" verifies his right to vote, the local election
board shall announce the name of the elector and shall give any
watcher present an opportunity to challenge any absentee elector
upon the ground or grounds (1) that the absentee elector is not
a qualified elector; or (2) that the absentee elector was within
the municipality of his residence on the day of the primary or
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election during the period the polls were open, except where he
was in military service or except in the case where his ballot
was obtained for the reason that he was unable to appear
personally at the polling place because of illness or physical
disability; or (3) that the absentee elector was able to appear
personally at the polling place on the day of the primary or
election during the period the polls were open in the case his
ballot was obtained for the reason that he was unable to appear
personally at the polling place because of illness or physical
disability. Upon challenge of any absentee elector, as set forth
herein the local election board shall mark "challenged" on the
envelope together with the reason or reasons therefor, and the
same shall be set aside for return to the county board unopened
pending decision by the county board and shall not be counted.
All absentee ballots not challenged for any of the reasons
provided herein shall be counted and included with the general
return of paper ballots or voting machines, as the case may be
as follows. Thereupon, the local election board shall open the
envelope of every unchallenged absentee elector in such manner
as not to destroy the declaration executed thereon. All of such
envelopes on which are printed, stamped or endorsed the words
"Official Absentee Ballot" shall be placed in one or more
depositories at one time and said depository or depositories
well shaken and the envelopes mixed before any envelope is taken
therefrom. If any of these envelopes shall contain any
extraneous marks or identifying symbols other than the words
"Official Absentee Ballot," the envelopes and the ballots
contained therein shall be set aside and declared void. The
local election board shall then break the seals of such
envelopes, remove the ballots and record the votes in the same
manner as district election officers are required to record
votes. With respect to the challenged ballots, they shall be
returned to the county board with the returns of the local
election district where they shall be placed unopened in a
secure, safe and sealed container in the custody of the county
board until it shall fix a time and place for a formal hearing
of all such challenges and notice shall be given where possible
to all absentee electors thus challenged and to every attorney,
watcher or candidate who made such challenge. The time for the
hearing shall not be later than seven (7) days after the date of
said challenge. On the day fixed for said hearing, the county
board shall proceed without delay to hear said challenges and,
in hearing the testimony, the county board shall not be bound by
technical rules of evidence. The testimony presented shall be
stenographically recorded and made part of the record of the
hearing. The decision of the county board in upholding or
dismissing any challenge may be reviewed by the court of common
pleas of the county upon a petition filed by any person
aggrieved by the decision of the county board. Such appeal shall
be taken, within two (2) days after such decision shall have
been made, whether reduced to writing or not, to the court of
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common pleas setting forth the objections to the county board's
decision and praying for an order reversing same. Pending the
final determination of all appeals, the county board shall
suspend any action in canvassing and computing all challenged
ballots irrespective of whether or not appeal was taken from the
county board's decision. Upon completion of the computation of
the returns of the county, the votes cast upon the challenged
official absentee ballots shall be added to the other votes cast
within the county.]
(f) Any person challenging an application for an absentee
ballot [or], an absentee ballot, an application for a mail-in
ballot or a mail-in ballot for any of the reasons provided in
this act shall deposit the sum of ten dollars ($10.00) in cash
with the [local election] county board, [in cases of challenges
made to the local election board and with the county board in
cases of challenges made to the county board for which he shall
be issued a receipt for each challenge made,] which sum shall
only be refunded if the challenge is sustained or if the
challenge is withdrawn within five (5) days after the primary or
election. If the challenge is dismissed by any lawful order then
the deposit shall be forfeited. [All deposit money received by
the local election board shall be turned over to the county
board simultaneously with the return of the challenged ballots.]
The county board shall deposit all deposit money in the general
fund of the county.
Notice of the requirements of subsection (b) of section 1306
shall be printed on the envelope for the absentee ballot or
mail-in ballot.
(g) (1) (i) An absentee ballot cast by any absentee
elector as defined in section 1301(a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f),
(g) and (h) [which is received in the office of the county board
of elections after five o'clock P.M. on the Friday immediately
preceding the election and no later than five o'clock P.M. on
the seventh day following an election] shall be canvassed in
accordance with this subsection if [the absentee ballot is
postmarked no later than the day immediately preceding the
election.] the ballot is cast, submitted and received in
accordance with the provisions of 25 Pa.C.S. Ch. 35 (relating to
uniform military and overseas voters).
(ii) An absentee ballot cast by any absentee elector as
defined in section 1301(i), (j), (k), (l), (m) and (n), an
absentee ballot under section 1302(a.3) or a mail-in ballot cast
by a mail-in elector shall be canvassed in accordance with this
subsection if the absentee ballot or mail-in ballot is received
in the office of the county board of elections no later than
eight o'clock P.M. on the day of the primary or election.
(2) The county board of elections shall meet [on the eighth
day following the election to canvass] no earlier than the close
of polls on the day of the election and no later than the third
day following the election to begin canvassing the absentee
ballots and mail-in ballots received under this subsection and
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subsection (h)(2). The canvass shall continue through the eighth
day following the election. One authorized representative of
each candidate in an election and one representative from each
political party shall be permitted to remain in the room in
which the absentee ballots and mail-in ballots are canvassed.
Representatives shall be permitted to challenge any absentee
elector or mail-in elector in accordance with the provisions of
paragraph (3).
(3) When the county board meets to canvass absentee ballots
and mail-in ballots under paragraph (2), the board shall examine
the declaration on the envelope of each ballot not set aside
under subsection (d) and shall compare the information thereon
with that contained in the "Registered Absentee and Mail-in
Voters File," the absentee voters' list and/or the "Military
Veterans and Emergency Civilians Absentee Voters File,"
whichever is applicable. If the county board has verified the
proof of identification as required under this act and is
satisfied that the declaration is sufficient and the information
contained in the "Registered Absentee and Mail-in Voters File,"
the absentee voters' list and/or the "Military Veterans and
Emergency Civilians Absentee Voters File" verifies his right to
vote, the county board shall announce the name of the elector
and shall give any candidate representative or party
representative present an opportunity to challenge any absentee
elector upon the ground or grounds: (i) that the absentee
elector or mail-in elector is not a qualified elector; or (ii)
that the absentee elector was within the municipality of his
residence on the day of the primary or election during the
period the polls were open, except where he was in the military
service or except in the case where his ballot was obtained for
the reason that he was unable to appear personally at the
polling place because of illness or physical disability; or
(iii) that the absentee elector was able to appear personally at
the polling place on the day of the primary or election during
the period the polls were open in the case his ballot was
obtained for the reason that he was unable to appear personally
at the polling place because of illness or physical disability.
Upon challenge of any absentee elector, as set forth herein, the
board shall mark "challenged" on the envelope together with the
reasons therefor, and the same shall be set aside unopened
pending final determination of the challenge according to the
procedure described in paragraph (5).
(4) All absentee ballots and mail-in ballots not challenged
for any of the reasons provided in paragraph (3) shall be
counted and included with the returns of the applicable election
district as follows[.]:
(i) The county board shall open the envelope of every
unchallenged absentee elector and mail-in elector in such manner
as not to destroy the declaration executed thereon.
(ii) If any of the envelopes on which are printed, stamped
or endorsed the words "Official Absentee Ballot" or "Official
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Mail-in Ballot" contain any extraneous marks or identifying
symbols, the envelopes and the ballots contained therein shall
be set aside and declared void.
(iii) The county board shall then break the seals of such
envelopes, remove the ballots and record the votes.
(5) With respect to the challenged ballots, they shall be
placed unopened in a secure, safe and sealed container in the
custody of the county board until it shall fix a time and place
for a formal hearing of all such challenges, and notice shall be
given where possible to all absentee electors and mail-in
electors thus challenged and to every individual who made a
challenge. The time for the hearing shall not be later than five
(5) days after the date of the challenge. On the day fixed for
said hearing, the county board shall proceed without delay to
hear said challenges, and, in hearing the testimony, the county
board shall not be bound by the Pennsylvania Rules of Evidence.
The testimony presented shall be stenographically recorded and
made part of the record of the hearing.
* * *
(h) For those absentee ballots or mail-in ballots for which
proof of identification has not been received or could not be
verified:
(1) If the proof of identification is received and verified
by the county board of elections prior to the distribution of
the absentee ballots or mail-in ballots to the local election
districts, then the county shall distribute the absentee ballots
and mail-in ballots for which proof of identification is
received and verified, along with the other absentee ballots and
mail-in ballots, to the absentee voter's respective election
district or the mail-in voter's respective election district. If
the county board of elections does not receive or is not able to
verify the proof of identification for an elector prior to the
absentee ballots' or mail-in ballots' being sent to the
appropriate local election districts, the county board shall
keep the absentee ballot or mail-in ballot and follow the
procedures set forth in paragraph (2) or (3), whichever is
applicable.
(2) If the proof of identification is received and verified
after the absentee ballots and mail-in ballots have been
distributed to the appropriate local election districts, but
prior to the sixth calendar day following the election, then the
county board of elections shall canvass the absentee ballots and
mail-in ballots under this subsection in accordance with
subsection (g)(2), unless the elector appeared to vote at the
proper polling place for the purpose of casting a ballot, then
the absentee ballot or mail-in ballot cast by that elector shall
be declared void.
(3) If an elector fails to provide proof of identification
that can be verified by the county board of elections by the
sixth calendar day following the election, then the absentee
ballot or mail-in ballot shall not be counted.
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* * *
Section 1309. Public Records.--(a) All official absentee
ballots, files, applications for such ballots and envelopes on
which the executed declarations appear, and all information and
lists are hereby designated and declared to be public records