H1800B2125A02942 NAD:EJH 11/10/21 #90 A02942
AMENDMENTS TO HOUSE BILL NO. 1800
Sponsor: REPRESENTATIVE CONKLIN
Printer's No. 2125
Amend Bill, page 1, lines 1 through 30; page 2, lines 1
through 60; page 3, lines 1 through 51; by striking out all of
said lines on said pages 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 district election officers, further providing
for compensation of district election officers; in election
districts and polling places, providing for ballot return
sites; providing for electronic poll books and for electronic
poll books and election infrastructure equipment bonds; in
preparation for and conduct of primaries and elections,
further providing for manner of applying to vote, persons
entitled to vote, voter's certificates, entries to be made in
district register, numbered lists of voters and challenges
and for deadline for receipt of valid voter registration
application; providing for early voting in elections; in
voting by qualified absentee electors, further providing for
date of application for absentee ballot, for approval of
application for absentee ballot, for envelopes for official
absentee ballots, for voting by absentee electors and for
canvassing of official absentee ballots and mail-in ballots;
in voting by qualified mail-in electors, further providing
for date of application for mail-in ballots, for approval of
application for mail-in ballot, for envelopes for official
mail-in ballots and for voting by mail-in electors; and
making an editorial change.
Amend Bill, page 3, lines 54 and 55; pages 4 through 182,
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lines 1 through 30; page 183, lines 1 through 16; by striking
out all of said lines on said pages and inserting
Section 1. Section 102 of the act of June 3, 1937 (P.L.1333,
No.320), known as the Pennsylvania Election Code, is amended by
adding subsections 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.7) The words "ballot drop box" shall mean a secure
receptacle established by a county board of elections or county
election official by which a voted absentee ballot or mail-in
ballot may be deposited by hand by the voter, including language
about tampering, and constructed to withstand vandalism by being
capable of securely receiving and holding the absentee ballots
and mail-in ballots and being locked, with a clearly identified
ballot insertion slot and a unique identifying number.
(z.8) The words "public university" shall mean an
institution of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education
established under section 2002-A of the act of March 10, 1949
(P.L.30, No.14), known as the Public School Code of 1949, and a
State-related university as defined in section 4(d) of the act
of November 26, 1997 (P.L.508, No.55), known as the Institutions
of Purely Public Charity Act.
(z.9) The words "community college" shall mean a public
college or technical institute which is established and operated
in accordance with the provisions of section 1901-A of the
Public School Code of 1949, by a local sponsor which provides a
two-year, postsecondary, college parallel, terminal general,
terminal technical, out of school-youth or adult education
program or any combination of the programs.
Section 2. Section 412.2(a) of the act is amended to read:
Section 412.2. Compensation of District Election Officers.--
(a) In all counties regardless of class, judges of election,
inspectors of election, clerks and machine operators shall be
paid compensation as fixed by the county board of elections for
each election, which amount shall be at least [$75] $175 and not
more than [$200] $300.
* * *
Section 3. Article V heading of the act is amended to read:
ARTICLE V
Election Districts [and], Polling Places and Ballot Drop Boxes
Section 4. Article V of the act is amended by adding a
subarticle to read:
(b.1) Ballot Drop Boxes
Section 531.1. Drop Off Locations to be Selected by County
Board of Elections.--(a) The county board of elections shall
select and fix the ballot drop box locations within each county
and may, at any time, for any reason, change the ballot drop box
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locations within the county.
(1) The county board of elections shall inform the secretary
of the ballot drop box locations at least sixty-five days prior
to the primary election, special election, municipal election or
general election.
(2) The county board of elections shall publicly announce,
not less than fifty-five days prior to any primary election,
special election, municipal election or general election, by
posting at its office in a conspicuous place and prominently
featured on the county's publicly accessible Internet website, a
list of the ballot drop box locations within the county. The
list must include the address, dates and hours of operation of
the ballot drop boxes, ballot return deadline, contact
information for the county board of elections and accessibility
information. The list shall be available for public inspection
at the office of the county board of elections.
(3) If an additional ballot drop box is added, or a ballot
drop box is moved, the county board of elections must notify the
secretary immediately and simultaneously update the county's
publicly accessible Internet website with the new locations.
(b) Each county must provide at least two ballot drop boxes
within the county for each primary election, special election,
municipal election or general election. The ballot drop boxes
must be arrayed throughout the county in a manner that provides
for the greatest convenience for electors. Each ballot drop box
must be on sites that meet the accessibility requirements
applicable to polling places. A ballot drop box shall be
considered accessible if it is in compliance with the Americans
with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-336, 104 Stat.
327). The county board of elections may add additional ballot
drop boxes, as necessary. Nothing in this section shall limit
counties to only two ballot drop boxes if the county board of
elections deems additional ballot drop boxes are necessary.
(c) In addition to the requirements under subsection (b),
for a primary election, special election, municipal election or
general election there must be a minimum number of ballot drop
boxes equal to at least one ballot drop box for every 50,000
residents of the county as determined by the most recent Federal
decennial census, and each annual American Community Survey
(ACS) population update.
(d) A minimum of one ballot drop box must be within one mile
of each public university or community college that has five
thousand or more enrolled students. At least one ballot drop box
shall be on each campus of a public university or college campus
that has ten thousand or more enrolled students. The following
shall apply:
(1) As used in this subsection, the number of enrolled
students at a campus shall be the highest number of full-time,
part-time, graduate and undergraduate students, not including
students solely registered for online courses, during the fall
semester of the year of the previous general election according
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to the data collected by the Department of Education.
(2) The data collected by the Secretary of Education shall
be reported to the secretary, on or before December 1 prior to
each general election year. The secretary shall determine from
the data which public university or community colleges meet the
enrollment thresholds and notify each respective county board of
elections at least eighty-five days prior to any election.
Section 531.2. Signage, Hours of Operation and Security.--
(a) Each ballot drop box must be labeled "Official Ballot Drop
Box" and must include the following:
(1) Specific points identifying the slot where ballots are
to be inserted. A ballot drop box may have more than one ballot
slot.
(2) Language stating counterfeiting, forging, tampering with
or destroying ballots is a second-degree misdemeanor under
sections 1816 and 1817 of this act.
(3) A statement that third-party return of a ballot is
prohibited unless the individual returning the ballot:
(i) is rendering assistance to a disabled voter or an
emergency absentee voter as authorized by law; or
(ii) is a member of the same household as the voter and the
third-party is registered at the same residential address and
unit number.
(4) A statement requesting that the designated county
elections official shall be notified immediately if the ballot
drop box is full, not functioning or is damaged, including a
telephone number and email address for the designated county
elections official.
(b) While available, the ballot drop box shall be securely
fastened to a stationary surface, an immovable object or placed
behind a counter. The ballot drop box shall be secured by a lock
and shall include a tamper-evident seal. Only the county board
of elections, the county election official, county election
official staff or another individual designated by the county
election official shall have access to the means to unfasten the
lock.
(c) Ballot drop boxes must be made available for use by the
voter no less than forty days prior to a primary election,
special election, municipal election or general election.
(d) On the date of any primary election, special election,
municipal election or general election, the ballot drop box
shall be closed when the election ends at eight o'clock P.M.
Section 531.3. Removal of Absentee Ballots and Mail-In
Ballots.--(a) Absentee and mail-in ballots must be removed from
each ballot drop box at least once every twenty-four hours,
excluding Saturdays and Sundays, by at least two people
designated by the county board of elections or the county
election official. Each person removing ballots from any ballot
drop box shall display proper identification.
(b) As directed by the secretary, each county board of
elections shall develop ballot collection and chain of custody
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procedures. Each county shall create and use a form entitled the
Ballot Drop Box Collection Form when retrieving absentee ballots
and mail-in ballots from the ballot drop boxes.
(c) A Ballot Drop Box Collection Form must be completed and
signed by the county designees each time absentee ballots and
mail-in ballots are removed from a ballot drop box. A Ballot
Drop Box Collection Form must include spaces for the following
information:
(1) The ballot drop box location and the unique identifying
number of the ballot drop box.
(2) The date and time ballots were emptied from the ballot
drop box.
(3) The names of the individuals removing the ballots from
the ballot drop box and the name of the individual who secured
and relocked the ballot drop box.
(4) The name of the county election official or designee
receiving the secured transport container.
(5) The date and time the county election official or
designee received the secured transport container.
(6) The number of ballots delivered in the secured transport
container.
(7) An area to mark if there is evidence of tampering on the
secured transport container.
(d) Absentee ballots and mail-in ballots from ballot drop
boxes must be returned to the county board of elections in
secured transport containers and immediately taken to a secure
location established by the county board of elections. The
county election official or the official's designee shall take
control of the secured transport container and inspect the
container for tampering. The county election official or
official's designee shall complete the Ballot Drop Box
Collection Form.
(e) An individual may not interfere with the emptying of
ballot drop boxes. An individual who interferes with the removal
of ballots from a ballot drop box or inhibits or prevents a
voter or authorized agent from lawfully depositing a ballot
commits a criminal offense under section 1849.
Section 531.4. Canvassing of Ballots Collected from Ballot
Drop Boxes.--Each absentee ballot and mail-in ballot removed
from a ballot drop box shall be canvassed in accordance with
section 1308.
Section 5. The act is amended by adding articles to read:
ARTICLE XI-C
ELECTRONIC POLL BOOKS
Section 1101-C. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this article
shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Board." The county board of elections.
"Department." The Department of State of the Commonwealth.
"Electronic poll books." A secure and self-contained
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electronic record system, consisting of hardware components
procured by a board and a software component distributed by the
secretary, constituting the voters' certificates, voting check
list, numbered lists of voters and district register, for an
election district or for use with multiple election districts,
that:
(1) receives and stores electronically the signature of
voters appearing to vote and any other necessary voter
information;
(2) securely downloads and uploads voter information in
concert with county voter management systems;
(3) allows real-time tracking of voters for updates to
voter histories; and
(4) meets the standards published by the secretary under
section 1103-C.
"Secretary." The Secretary of the Commonwealth.
"SURE system." The Statewide Uniform Registry of Electors
established under 25 Pa.C.S. § 1222 (relating to SURE system).
Section 1102-C. Use.
Each board shall use electronic poll books that meet the
minimum standards published by the secretary under section 1103-
C for each primary and election held after December 31, 2024.
Electronic poll books shall replace paper-based poll books and
shall be used as all of the following in each voting location
allowed for by law in this Commonwealth:
(1) Voters' certificates.
(2) Voting check lists.
(3) Numbered lists of voters.
(4) District registers.
(5) For the management of election district voter rolls
during elections.
Section 1103-C. Standards.
The secretary, in coordination with the Office of
Administration and Office of Information Technology, shall
establish and publish requirements and specifications which
shall define the minimum standards required of electronic poll
books to ensure interoperability with the SURE system. The
requirements and specifications may include system
compatibility, screen size, security standards, signature
capture requirements, voter data fields and any other
requirements identified as necessary to meet the needs for each
voting location allowed by law in this Commonwealth.
Section 1104-C. Components.
(a) Hardware.--Each board shall be responsible for procuring
the hardware components of the electronic poll books. The
hardware components shall meet the specifications published by
the secretary in accordance with section 1103-C.
(b) Software.--The secretary shall distribute the software
component of the electronic poll books. The software component
shall be owned, maintained and be subject to restrictions
published by the department.
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(c) Prohibited interest.--The secretary, the department
staff involved with implementation, maintenance or upkeep of the
SURE system or electronic poll books or any member of a board
may not hold a pecuniary interest in an electronic poll book,
components of an electronic poll book or in the design,
manufacture or sale of an electronic poll book.
Section 1105-C. Funding for acquisition.
(a) Declaration of policy.--The General Assembly finds and
declares that funding of the acquisition of electronic poll
books for the management of voter data for each polling place in
this Commonwealth is in the best interest of this Commonwealth.
(b) Appropriation.--
(1) The General Assembly appropriates $7,000,000 from
the General Fund to the department for the procurement of the
software component of the electronic poll book that builds on
and shall integrate with the SURE system and for the
development and implementation of a secure electronic poll
book network to be used by counties.
(2) The department shall retain ownership of the
software licenses and the contract management duties for the
software component of the electronic poll book. Except as
provided by law, any part of the appropriations made in this
subsection that remain unexpended, uncommitted or
unencumbered as of December 31, 2024, shall automatically
lapse as of December 31, 2024.
ARTICLE XI-D
ELECTRONIC POLL BOOKS AND
ELECTION INFRASTRUCTURE EQUIPMENT BONDS
Section 1101-D. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this article
shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Account." The County Electronic Poll Book and Election
Infrastructure Equipment Reimbursement Account established under
section 1106-D.
"Authority." The Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing
Authority.
"Bond." Any type of revenue obligation, including a bond or
series of bonds, note, certificate or other instrument, issued
by the authority for the benefit of the department under this
article.
"Bond administrative expenses." Expenses incurred to
administer bonds as provided under the Financing Law, or as
necessary to ensure compliance with Federal or State law.
"Bond obligations." The principal of a bond and any premium
and interest payable on a bond, together with any amount owed
under a related credit agreement or a related resolution of the
authority authorizing a bond.
"Credit agreement." A loan agreement, a revolving credit
agreement, an agreement establishing a line of credit, a letter
of credit or another agreement that enhances the marketability,
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security or creditworthiness of a bond.
"Department." The Department of State of the Commonwealth.
"Election infrastructure equipment." Hardware or software,
or both, that is used by a county in running elections. The term
includes mail-ballot processing equipment, such as envelope
openers, and information technology equipment, such as intrusion
detection sensors, deployed to enhance the security of
electronic voting systems, electronic poll books and other
election systems by detecting and reporting hacking attempts and
other election security breaches. The term does not include
electronic voting systems or electronic poll books.
"Electronic poll book." The components of electronic poll
books as defined in section 1101-C.
"Electronic voting system." As defined in section 1101-A.
"Financing Law." The act of August 23, 1967 (P.L.251,
No.102), known as the Economic Development Financing Law.
Section 1102-D. Bond issuance.
(a) Declaration of policy.--The General Assembly finds and
declares that funding for electronic poll books and election
infrastructure equipment, including interest, through the
authority, is in the best interest of this Commonwealth.
(b) Authority.--Notwithstanding any other law, the following
shall apply:
(1) The department may be a project applicant under the
Financing Law and may apply to the authority for the funding
of electronic poll books and election infrastructure
equipment.
(2) The authority may issue bonds under the Financing
Law, consistent with this article, to finance a project or
projects consisting of funding the purchase, replacement or
lease of electronic poll books by the counties, the
reimbursement to the counties for their cost to purchase or
lease electronic poll books and for the purchase or lease of
election infrastructure equipment by the counties.
(3) Participation of an industrial and commercial
development authority shall not be required to finance the
projects or to issue the bonds described under this article.
(c) Debt or liability.--
(1) Bonds issued under this article shall not be a debt
or liability of the Commonwealth and shall not create or
constitute an indebtedness, liability or obligation of the
Commonwealth.
(2) Bond obligations and bond administrative expenses
shall be payable solely from revenues or money pledged or
available for repayment as authorized under this article.
This paragraph shall include the proceeds of any issuance of
bonds.
(3) Each bond shall contain on the bond's face a
statement that:
(i) the authority is obligated to pay the principal
or interest on the bonds only from the revenues or money
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pledged or available for repayment as authorized under
this article;
(ii) neither the Commonwealth nor a county is
obligated to pay the principal or interest; and
(iii) the full faith and credit of the Commonwealth
or any county is not pledged to the payment of the
principal of or the interest on the bonds.
Section 1103-D. Criteria for bond issuance.
(a) Application.--
(1) The department shall apply to the authority to issue
bonds to provide financing to the department to:
(i) reimburse each county for the county's cost to
purchase or lease electronic poll books;
(ii) fund a county's purchase or lease of electronic
poll books; or
(iii) fund the purchase or lease of election
infrastructure equipment.
(2) The choice of the funding options under paragraph
(1)(i) or (ii) and the choice of type of electronic poll
books shall be at the discretion of the Secretary of the
Commonwealth.
(b) Issuance.--Bonds may be issued in one or more series,
and each series may finance reimbursement grants to one or more
counties.
(c) Terms.--
(1) The department, with the approval of the Office of
the Budget, shall specify in its application to the
authority:
(i) the maximum principal amount of the bonds for
each bond issue; and
(ii) the maximum term of the bonds consistent with
applicable law.
(2) The total principal amount for all bonds, not
including refunding bonds, issued under this article may not
exceed $60,000,000.
(3) The term of the bonds issued under this article may
not exceed 10 years from the respective date of original
issuance.
(d) Expiration.--For the purpose of this article, the
authorization to issue bonds, except for the authorization to
issue refunding bonds, shall expire December 31, 2024.
Section 1104-D. Issuance of bonds and sources of payments.
(a) Issuance.--The authority shall consider issuing the
bonds upon application by the department. Bonds issued under
this article shall be subject to the provisions of the Financing
Law, unless otherwise specified under this article.
(b) Service agreement authorized.--The authority and the
department may enter into an agreement or service agreement to
effectuate this article, including an agreement to secure bonds
issued for the purposes under section 1102-D(b), pursuant to
which the department shall agree to pay the bond obligations and
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bond administrative expenses to the authority in each fiscal
year that the bonds or refunding bonds are outstanding in
amounts sufficient to timely pay in full the bond obligations,
bond administrative expenses and any other financing costs due
on the bonds issued for the purposes under section 1102-D(b).
The department's payment of the bond obligations, bond
administrative expenses and other financing costs due on the
bonds as service charges under an agreement or service agreement
shall be subject to and dependent upon the appropriation of
funds by the General Assembly to the department for payment of
the service charges. The service agreement may be amended or
supplemented by the authority and the department in connection
with the issuance of any series of bonds or refunding bonds
authorized under this article.
Section 1105-D. Sale of bonds.
The authority shall offer the bonds for sale by means of a
public, competitive sale or by means of a negotiated sale based
on the authority's determination of which method will produce
the most benefit to counties and the Commonwealth.
Section 1106-D. Deposit of bond proceeds.
The net proceeds of bonds, other than refunding bonds,
exclusive of costs of issuance, reserves and any other financing
charges, shall be transferred by the authority to the State
Treasurer for deposit into a restricted account established in
the State Treasury and held solely for the purposes under
section 1102-D(b) to be known as the County Electronic Poll Book
and Election Infrastructure Equipment Reimbursement Account. The
department shall pay out the bond proceeds to the counties from
the account in accordance with this article.
Section 1107-D. Payment of bond-related obligations.
For each fiscal year in which bond obligations and bond
administrative expenses will be due, the authority shall notify
the department of the amount of bond obligations and the
estimated amount of bond administrative expenses in sufficient
time, as determined by the department, to permit the department
to request an appropriation sufficient to pay bond obligations
and bond administrative expenses that will be due and payable in
the following fiscal year. The authority's calculation of the
amount of bond obligations and bond administrative expenses that
will be due shall be subject to verification by the department.
Section 1108-D. Commonwealth not to impair bond-related
obligations.
The Commonwealth pledges that it shall not do any of the
following:
(1) Limit or alter the rights and responsibilities of
the authority or the department under this article, including
the responsibility to:
(i) pay bond obligations and bond administrative
expenses; and
(ii) comply with any other instrument or agreement
pertaining to bonds.
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(2) Alter or limit the service agreement under section
1104-D(b).
(3) Impair the rights and remedies of the holders of
bonds, until each bond issued and the interest on the bond
are fully met and discharged.
Section 1109-D. Personal liability.
The members, directors, officers and employees of the
department and the authority shall not be personally liable as a
result of good faith exercise of the rights and responsibilities
granted under this article.
Section 1110-D. Annual report.
No later than March 1 of the year following the first full
year in which bonds have been issued under this article and for
each year thereafter in which bond obligations existed in the
prior year, the department shall submit an annual report to the
chair and minority chair of the Appropriations Committee of the
Senate, the chair and minority chair of the Appropriations
Committee of the House of Representatives, the chair and
minority chair of the State Government Committee of the Senate
and the chair and minority chair of the State Government
Committee of the House of Representatives providing all data
available on bonds issued or existing in the prior year. The
report shall include existing and anticipated bond principal,
interest and administrative costs, revenue, repayments,
refinancing, overall benefits to counties and any other relevant
data, facts and statistics that the department believes
necessary in the content of the report.
Section 1111-D. Reimbursement of county electronic poll book
and election infrastructure expenses.
(a) Application.--
(1) A county may apply to the department to receive
funding:
(i) to be reimbursed for its cost to purchase or
lease electronic poll books;
(ii) to fund its purchase or lease of electronic
poll books; or
(iii) to fund its purchase or lease of election
infrastructure equipment.
(2) Each county shall apply for funding on a form
containing information and documentation prescribed by the
department no later than July 1, 2022. The department may
allow a county to submit one or more applications.
(b) Documentation for prior purchase or lease.--If a county
seeks reimbursement of the county's cost to purchase or lease by
capital lease electronic poll books or election infrastructure
equipment that the county purchased or leased before the date
that the county submits its application to the department, the
county's application shall include documentation prescribed by
the department to substantiate the county's cost to purchase or
lease the electronic poll books or election infrastructure
equipment, including copies of fully executed electronic poll
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book contracts, fully executed copies of election infrastructure
equipment contracts, invoices and proof of payment to the vendor
of the electronic poll book or election infrastructure
equipment.
(c) Documentation for subsequent purchase or lease.--If a
county seeks funding to purchase or lease electronic poll books
or election infrastructure equipment that the county will
purchase or lease after the date that the county submits its
application to the department, the county's application shall
include documentation prescribed by the department to
substantiate the county's estimate to purchase or lease the
electronic poll books or election infrastructure equipment,
including copies of fully executed electronic poll book
contracts or election infrastructure equipment bids or price
quotes submitted to the county and other price estimates or cost
proposals.
(d) Review.--The department shall review each county's
application on a rolling basis and shall either approve or deny
each county's application within 90 days of the date the
application is received by the department. A county may
supplement or amend submitted applications during the 90-day
review period in consultation with the department.
(e) Approval for prior purchase or lease.--If the department
approves a county's application submitted under subsection (b),
the department and the county shall enter into a written grant
agreement through which the department shall reimburse the
county at the amount determined under subsection (g).
(f) Approval for subsequent purchase or lease.--If the
department approves a county's application under subsection (c),
the department and the county shall enter into a written grant
agreement through which the department shall provide funding to
the county to purchase or lease electronic poll books or
election infrastructure equipment at the amount determined under
subsection (g). The county shall hold the grant money in an
account of the county that is separate from each other county
account. The county shall deliver quarterly reports to the
department of the electronic poll book costs or election
infrastructure equipment costs paid from the grant money in a
form prescribed by the department. The county shall return any
unspent grant money to the department within 30 days of the
expiration of the grant agreement.
(g) Payments.--
(1) A county shall only receive amounts under this
section to the extent that the department has bond proceeds
available in the account from which to make payments.
(2) Except as provided under paragraph (3), a county
which submitted an application approved under subsection (e)
or (f) may receive 100% of the total amount submitted under
subsection (b) or (c) which may be reimbursed or paid.
(3) If the total amount submitted by all counties under
paragraph (2) exceeds the total amount available for
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reimbursement or payment, a county may receive a portion of
the amount available equal to the total amount submitted by
the county under subsection (b) or (c) which may be
reimbursed or paid, divided by the total amount submitted by
all counties under subsection (b) or (c) which may be
reimbursed or paid.
(4) The department shall prioritize the funding of
electronic poll books over the funding of election
infrastructure equipment.
Section 6. Section 1210(a.4)(5)(i) and (ii) of the act are
amended to read:
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) * * *
(5) (i) Except as provided in subclause (ii), if it is
determined that the individual was registered and entitled to
vote at the election district where the ballot was cast,
including where the individual registers under 25 Pa.C.S. §
1325.1 (relating to same-day voter registration) and casts a
provisional ballot, the county board of elections shall compare
the signature on the provisional ballot envelope with the
signature on the elector's registration form and, if the
signatures are determined to be genuine, shall count the ballot
if the county board of elections confirms that the individual
did not cast any other ballot, including an absentee ballot, in
the election.
(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
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;
(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
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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; [or]
(F) the elector's absentee ballot or mail-in ballot is
timely received by a county board of elections[.] except if the
voter was provided information by the county board of elections
of a defect in the voter's absentee ballot or mail-in ballot and
has not returned a completed Absentee Ballot and Mail-in Ballot
Cure Form; or
(G) an application for voter registration was made under 25
Pa.C.S. § 1325.1, but the application was rejected by the
appropriate commission.
* * *
Section 7. Section 1231(b)(1), (3) and (4) of the act are
amended and the subsection is amended by adding a paragraph to
read:
Section 1231. Deadline for Receipt of Valid Voter
Registration Application.--* * *
(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] Department of Transportation not later than fifteen
days before the election.
* * *
(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 or the
Department of State not later than fifteen days before the
election.
(3.1) In the case of same-day voter registration under 25
Pa.C.S. § 1325.1 (relating to same-day voter registration), if
the valid voter registration application of the applicant is
accepted in the appropriate electoral district by the presiding
judge of elections.
(4) In any other case, if the valid voter registration
application of the applicant is received by the appropriate
commission or the Department of State not later than fifteen
days before the election.
* * *
Section 8. The act is amended by adding an article to read:
ARTICLE XII-A
EARLY VOTING IN ELECTIONS
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Section 1201-A. Conduct.
(a) Authority.--Notwithstanding any law to the contrary,
each county board shall provide for a period of early voting in
elections as provided for under this article.
(b) Issuance of ballots and voting booths.--The following
apply:
(1) If a request is made to vote early by a registered
elector, the county board shall issue a ballot to the
registered elector, except in districts where electronic
voting systems are used in accordance with Article XI-A, for
in-person early voting. Except as otherwise provided under
this article, each ballot issued to registered electors for
early voting must be voted on the premises of the county
board and returned to the county board.
(2) On the dates for early voting prescribed under
section 1203-A, each county board shall provide voting booths
with electronic voting systems certified by the secretary and
other suitable equipment for voting on the premises of the
county board and at any other early voting location
established by the county board for the conduct of early
voting in accordance with this article. Each ballot style
must be available in each early voting location, allowing any
registered voter of the county to vote in any of the early
voting locations.
(c) Lists of early voters.--The county board shall maintain
a list of each registered elector in each election district who
vote during the early voting period. The list must be maintained
for each election district in the county.
(d) District Register.--The district register shall indicate
whether a voter has voted early under this article.
Section 1202-A. Early voting locations.
(a) Minimum location requirement.--A county board shall
establish at least one early voting location for in-person early
voting at a location in the county.
(b) Minimum population requirement.--In addition to the
requirement under subsection (a), a county board shall establish
one early voting location for in-person early voting for every
100,000 residents of the county as determined by the most recent
Federal decennial census and each annual American Community
Survey population update.
(c) Additional locations.--In addition to the requirements
for early voting locations under subsections (a) and (b), a
county board may establish additional early voting locations for
in-person early voting.
(d) Location.--Early voting locations may be located in any
location eligible to be selected as a polling place under
Article V.
(e) Voting.--A registered elector entitled to early voting
may vote early at any early voting location established by the
county board.
(f) Factors.--If more than one early voting location or
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temporary early voting location is established under this
section or section 1204-A, a county board shall consider the
following factors:
(1) proximity to public transportation lines and
availability of parking;
(2) travel time to the early voting location;
(3) commuter traffic patterns;
(4) geographic features that tend to affect access and
convenience;
(5) equitable distribution across the county so as to
afford maximally convenient options for electors;
(6) population density;
(7) use of existing voting locations that typically
serve a significant number of electors;
(8) use of public buildings that are known to electors
in the county, especially to the extent that using the
buildings results in cost savings compared to other potential
locations; and
(9) if private locations are considered or designated as
early voting locations, methods and standards to ensure the
security of voting conducted at the locations.
(g) Accessibility.--Early voting locations shall not be
subject to the same provisions as polling places but shall be
accessible to persons with disabilities.
(h) Prohibition.--An individual, if within an early voting
location or temporary early voting location, may not
electioneer or solicit votes for a political party, political
body or candidate. Written or printed material may not be posted
within the early voting location or temporary early voting
location, except as required under this act.
(i) Distance.--An individual, except a county designee,
watcher, person in the course of voting, person lawfully giving
assistance to a voter and peace and police officer, if permitted
under this act, must remain at least 10 feet distant from the
early voting location or temporary early voting location during
the progress of the voting.
(j) Watcher.--Each candidate and each party or political
body may appoint one watcher consistent with section 417 who
shall be present within the early voting location or temporary
early voting location from the time that county designees meet
prior to the opening of the early voting location or temporary
early voting location until the time that county designees
depart the early voting location or temporary early voting
location. A watcher must be a qualified elector of the county in
which the watcher serves and must show their certificates if
requested to do so.
Section 1203-A. Period for early voting.
(a) Commencement and ending.--The period for in-person early
voting shall begin on the 17th day preceding the date of an
election and extend through 5 p.m. on the Saturday before
election day.
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(b) Schedules.--Except as provided under subsection (c), the
following shall apply for each election:
(1) Each early voting location must remain open
beginning the 17th day before an election through 5 p.m. the
Saturday before election day as follows:
(i) during the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.;
(ii) during the hours of 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the
second weekend before election day and any holiday; and
(iii) a county board may establish longer hours for
early voting locations in compliance with section 1206-A
and 1207-A.
(2) (Reserved).
(c) Emergency closure.--Notwithstanding subsection (b), a
county board may close an early voting location if the building
in which the early voting location is located has been closed by
a State, county or local agency in response to a severe weather
emergency or other emergency. The county board shall notify the
Secretary of the Commonwealth of each closure and shall make
reasonable efforts to provide notice to the public of an
alternative early voting location.
(d) Security of ballots and voting equipment.--The county
board shall ensure that each ballot, scanner and other voting
equipment used during the early voting period are secured in
accordance with Article XI-A. The following shall apply:
(1) At the beginning of each day of early voting, the
early voting location officials shall examine every ballot
box, scanner and tabulator, if applicable, to ensure that
they remain locked and sealed. Upon completion of their
examination, the early voting location officials shall sign a
declaration attesting to the same on a form prescribed by the
Secretary of the Commonwealth.
(2) At the end of each day of early voting, the early
voting location officials shall examine every ballot box,
scanner and tabulator, if applicable, to ensure that they
remain locked and sealed. Upon completion of their
examination, the early voting location officials shall sign a
declaration attesting to the same on a form prescribed by the
Secretary of the Commonwealth.
Section 1204-A. Designation of temporary early voting
locations.
(a) Temporary early voting locations.--In addition to early
voting locations established under section 1202-A, the county
board may establish temporary early voting locations for early
voting.
(b) Applicability of schedule.--The following apply:
(1) The schedules for the conduct of early voting under
section 1203-A(b) shall not apply to temporary early voting
locations. Early voting at temporary early voting locations
may be conducted on one or more days and during hours within
the early voting period established for in-person early
voting under section 1203-A(b), as determined by the county
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board.
(2) The schedules for the conduct of early voting at a
temporary early voting location shall not need to be uniform
among the temporary early voting locations.
Section 1205-A. Public buildings.
(a) Early voting locations.--The following apply:
(1) Upon request by a county board, the governing body
of a municipality shall make public buildings within the
county available as early voting locations without charge. A
request to use a public building shall include reasonably
necessary time before and after the period that early voting
will be conducted at the public building.
(2) A municipality making a public building available as
an early voting location shall ensure that any portion of the
building made available is accessible to voters with
disabilities and elderly voters.
(b) (Reserved).
Section 1206-A. Publication of early voting locations and
schedules.
(a) Notice.--During the week immediately preceding the
commencement of early voting and at least once each week during
the period of early voting, the county board shall publish in a
newspaper of general circulation in the county a schedule
stating:
(1) the location of each early voting location; and
(2) the dates and hours that early voting will be
conducted at each temporary early voting location.
(b) Posting requirements.--Each county board shall post a
copy of the schedule at an office or other location that is to
be used as a temporary early voting location. The schedule must
be posted continuously for a period beginning not later than the
10th day before the commencement of early voting and ending on
the last day of the early voting period.
(c) Copies.--The county board must make copies of the
schedule available to the public in reasonable quantities
without charge during the period of posting.
(d) Electronic posting.--If the county board maintains a
publicly accessible Internet website, the county board shall
make the schedule available on the website during the period of
posting.
(e) Prohibition and exception after schedule publication.--
The following apply:
(1) Additional early voting locations may not be
established after the schedule is published under this
section.
(2) Additional temporary early voting locations may be
established after the schedule is published if the temporary
early voting locations are open to each registered elector.
The locations, dates and hours of each additional temporary
early voting location shall be reported to the Secretary of
the Commonwealth and posted on the county board's publicly
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accessible Internet website.
Section 1207-A. List of early voting locations.
At least 10 days before the commencement of early voting,
each county board shall provide the Secretary of the
Commonwealth with a list of each early voting location and the
hours each location will be open for early voting.
Section 1208-A. Results.
Results of early voting may not be made available to the
public other than through the tabulation process used for votes
cast on election day, after the closing of polls.
Section 9. Section 1302.1(a) of the act is amended and the
section is amended by adding a subsection to read:
Section 1302.1. Date of Application for Absentee Ballot.--
(a) Except as provided in 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, 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] Except as provided under
subsection (a.1), applications for absentee ballots shall be
processed if received not later than five o'clock P.M. [of the
first Tuesday] on the fifteenth day prior to the day of any
primary or election.
(a.1) Notwithstanding subsection (a), an application for an
absentee ballot received from an applicant who presents his or
her own application at an office of the county board shall be
processed if received not later than five o'clock P.M. of the
day prior to the day of any primary or election.
* * *
Section 10. Sections 1302.2(c), 1304 and 1306 of the act,
amended March 27, 2020 (P.L.41, No.12), are amended to read:
Section 1302.2. Approval of Application for Absentee
Ballot.--* * *
(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 was not a
qualified elector. Such challenges must be made to the county
board of elections prior to five o'clock p.m. on the Friday
prior to the election or prior to the pre-canvass of an
elector's absentee ballot, whichever is earlier: Provided,
however, That a challenge to an application for an absentee
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ballot shall not be permitted on the grounds that the elector
used an application for an absentee ballot instead of an
application for a mail-in ballot or on the grounds that the
elector used an application for a mail-in ballot instead of an
application for an absentee ballot.
* * *
Section 1304. Envelopes for Official Absentee Ballots.--
(a) The county boards of election shall provide two
additional envelopes for each official absentee ballot of such
size and shape as shall be prescribed by the Secretary of the
Commonwealth, in order to permit the placing of one within the
other and both within the mailing envelope. On the smaller of
the two envelopes to be enclosed in the mailing envelope shall
be printed, stamped or endorsed the words "Official Election
Ballot," and nothing else. On the larger of the two envelopes,
to be enclosed within the mailing envelope, shall be printed,
stamped or endorsed the United States Postal Service's Official
Election Mail logo, a prepaid reply mail option under subsection
(b), the form of the declaration of the elector, and the name
and address of the county board of election of the proper
county. The larger envelope shall also contain information
indicating the local election district of the absentee voter.
Said form of declaration and envelope shall be as prescribed by
the Secretary of the Commonwealth and shall contain among other
things a statement of the electors qualifications, together with
a statement that such elector has not already voted in such
primary or election. The mailing envelope addressed to the
elector shall contain the two envelopes, the official absentee
ballot, lists of candidates, when authorized by section 1303
subsection (b) of this act, the uniform instructions in form and
substance as prescribed by the Secretary of the Commonwealth and
nothing else.
(b) The county board of election shall provide prepaid
postage for the larger of the two additional envelopes. The
county board of election shall utilize a United States Postal
Service prepaid reply mail option.
(c) The county board of election shall include a United
States Postal Service Intelligent Mail barcode or successor
system allowing mail tracking as specified by the Secretary of
the Commonwealth, on both the mailing envelope and larger
envelope.
Section 1306. Voting by Absentee Electors.--(a) Except as
provided in paragraphs (2) and (3), at any time after receiving
an official absentee ballot, but on or before 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 Election Ballot." This envelope
shall then be placed in the second one, on which is printed the
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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 either said county board of election or at a ballot
drop box.
(2) Any elector, spouse of the elector or dependent of the
elector, qualified in accordance with the provisions of section
1301, subsections (e), (f), (g) and (h) to vote by absentee
ballot as herein provided, shall be required to include on the
form of declaration a supporting declaration in form prescribed
by the Secretary of the Commonwealth, to be signed by the head
of the department or chief of division or bureau in which the
elector is employed, setting forth the identity of the elector,
spouse of the elector or dependent of the elector.
(3) Any elector who has filed his application in accordance
with section 1302 subsection (e)(2), and is unable to sign his
declaration because of illness or physical disability, shall be
excused from signing upon making a declaration which shall be
witnessed by one adult person in substantially the following
form: I hereby declare that I am unable to sign my declaration
for voting my absentee ballot without assistance because I am
unable to write by reason of my illness or physical disability.
I have made or received assistance in making my mark in lieu of
my signature.
.............................. .......................(Mark)
(Date)
.............................. .............................
(Complete Address of Witness) (Signature of Witness)
(b) (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).
(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (2), an elector who requests
an absentee ballot and who is not shown on the district register
as having voted the ballot may vote at the polling place if the
elector remits the ballot and the envelope containing the
declaration of the elector to the judge of elections to be
spoiled and the elector signs a statement subject to the
penalties under 18 Pa.C.S. § 4904 (relating to unsworn
falsification to authorities) in substantially the following
form:
I hereby declare that I am a qualified registered elector who
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has obtained an absentee ballot or mail-in ballot. I further
declare that I have not cast my absentee ballot or mail-in
ballot, and that instead I remitted my absentee ballot or
mail-in ballot and the envelope containing the declaration of
the elector to the judge of elections at my polling place to
be spoiled and therefore request that my absentee ballot or
mail-in ballot be voided.
(Date)
(Signature of Elector)................(Address of Elector)
(Local Judge of Elections)
(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 or
delivered to a ballot drop box no later than eight o'clock P.M.
on the day of the primary or election.
(d) Nothing under this section shall be construed to
prohibit an elector from returning the completed ballot of
another member of the elector's household, registered at the
same residential address and unit number.
Section 11. Section 1308(a) and (g)(1)(ii) and (1.1) and (4)
(ii) and (iii) of the act, amended March 27, 2020 (P.L.41,
No.12), are amended and subsections (a) and (g) are amended by
adding paragraphs 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 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 ballots in
sealed or locked containers until they 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).] mark the date of
receipt in the voter's record and shall examine the ballot
envelope containing the declaration of the elector to verify
completion of the declaration as required under sections 1306
and 1306-D. The following shall apply:
(1) If the declaration of the elector has been completed as
required under sections 1306 and 1306-D, the absentee and mail-
in ballots shall safely be kept in sealed or locked containers
until the ballots are to be pre-canvassed or canvassed by the
county board of elections. An absentee ballot, notwithstanding
if the absentee ballot is issued to a civilian, military or
other voter during the regular or emergency application period,
shall be pre-canvassed or canvassed in accordance with
subsection (g). A mail-in ballot shall be pre-canvassed in
accordance with subsection (g).
(2) If the declaration of the elector has not been correctly
signed as required under sections 1306 and 1306-D, the county
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board of elections shall enter into the voter's record in the
voter registration system that the absentee ballot or mail-in
ballot has an issue with the voter's declaration requiring
correction in order for the absentee ballot or mail-in ballot to
be counted. Absentee ballots or mail-in ballots with erroneous
declaration of the elector shall be kept in a separate sealed or
locked container. The following shall apply:
(i) Within twenty-four (24) hours of a finding under
paragraph (2), the county board of elections shall notify the
voter by letter, by email if the voter has provided an email
address and by phone if the voter has provided a phone number,
of the error and shall provide an Absentee Ballot and Mail-in
Ballot Cure Form. The form shall be created by the Secretary of
the Commonwealth and shall contain a location for the voter to
place the voter's Pennsylvania driver's license or Department of
Transportation identification card number or last four digits of
the voter's Social Security number and instructions on how to
return the form. Instead of providing a driver's license,