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PRINTER'S NO. 1600
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
1482
Session of
2021
INTRODUCED BY CUTLER, RYAN, ROWE, BOBACK, STAMBAUGH, HAMM,
ECKER, SCHMITT, COOK, STAATS, MILLARD, IRVIN, FEE, LEWIS,
HICKERNELL, GLEIM, WHEELAND, OWLETT, CAUSER, MERCURI,
HENNESSEY, METCALFE, KAUFFMAN, GAYDOS, SONNEY, GROVE, EMRICK,
ROAE, MENTZER, TOPPER, SAYLOR, THOMAS, JAMES, MOUL, SMITH,
KEEFER, B. MILLER, SANKEY, OBERLANDER, STRUZZI, ZIMMERMAN,
SCHLEGEL CULVER, JOZWIAK, WARNER, DAVANZO, GILLEN, HERSHEY,
ARMANINI, TOOHIL, FARRY AND TOMLINSON, MAY 25, 2021
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON STATE GOVERNMENT, MAY 25, 2021
AN ACT
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, establishing the
Bureau of Election Audits; in the Secretary of the
Commonwealth, providing for reports on implementation of
elections; and, in electronic voting systems, repealing
provisions relating to statistical sample.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. The act of June 3, 1937 (P.L.1333, No.320), known
as the Pennsylvania Election Code, is amended by adding
sections to read:
Section 107. Bureau of Election Audits.--(a) The Bureau of
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Election Audits is established in the Office of the Auditor
General.
(b) The Auditor General shall conduct independent election
audits in accordance with Generally Accepted Governmental Audit
Standards (GAGAS) and shall ensure that the audit methodology
will verify the accuracy of the election and the accuracy of all
election equipment used.
(c) For audits that occur during an election year in which
the Auditor General stands for election, the Auditor General
shall appoint an independent Special Auditor who shall be a
licensed certified public accountant and shall have experience
in completing election audits to oversee the operation of the
Bureau of Election Audits for an election year in which the
Auditor General stands for election.
(d) The Bureau of Election Audits shall continually improve
the election audits required under this section to ensure the
accuracy of election results and compliance with Federal and
State laws.
(e) The duties of the Bureau of Election Audits shall
include:
(1) Except if a full manual recount of an election is
undertaken, conducting result-confirming audits of each election
in this Commonwealth, completed by the third Friday following
the election. The audits shall include:
(i) A statistically sound, ballot-comparison, risk-limiting
audit of ballots for each election, except for an election which
is uncontested.
(ii) An audit of election machine logs.
(iii) An audit of the returned absentee and mail-in ballots
in each county, including a comparison of retained outer mailing
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envelopes, secrecy envelopes and the total number of absentee
and mail-in ballots canvassed.
(iv) An audit comparing each canvassed and retained paper
ballot in each county with the number of votes recorded.
(v) An audit of the pre-election testing of election
equipment conducted by each county.
(vi) Any other audit deemed necessary by the Bureau of
Election Audits to ensure the public trust in the outcome of
each election.
(2) Conducting performance audits of the operations of
elections systems and processes at least once every five years.
The audits shall include:
(i) An audit of each county election office in this
Commonwealth.
(ii) An audit of the Department of State's election
equipment certification process.
(iii) An audit of the Statewide Voter Registration System,
including an audit of the accuracy of the voter registration
list.
(iv) An audit of the Department of State's administration of
elections.
(v) Any other audit deemed necessary by the Bureau of
Election Audits to ensure public trust in the election
administration in this Commonwealth.
(3) Publicly posting audit methodologies for each of the
audits required under this section, including on the Auditor
General's publicly accessible Internet website and the
Department of State's publicly accessible Internet website.
(4) Publicly posting the results of each audit required
under this section, including on the Auditor General's publicly
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accessible Internet website, the Department of State's publicly
accessible Internet website and each county's publicly
accessible Internet website.
(5) Monitoring corrective action plans developed by entities
audited under this section, ensuring that the corrective action
plan addresses deficiencies identified by an audit and that the
plan is successfully executed to remediate deficiencies.
(f) The duties of the County Boards of Elections shall
include:
(1) Cooperating with the Bureau of Election Audits to enable
efficient conduct of each audit required under subsection (e).
(2) Cooperating with the Bureau of Election Audits to post
the results of audits conducted in that county as required under
subsection (e)(4).
(3) Holding a public meeting between the third Saturday
after an election and the fourth Thursday after an election, at
which the board shall make publicly available to the residents
of the county the results of audits conducted under subsection
(e).
(4) Submitting to the Department of State, along with the
certified results of the election, a report with the results of
the audits conducted under subsection (e)(3). The report shall
include the following:
(i) The overall accuracy of election results as confirmed by
the audits under subsection (e)(3).
(ii) A description of any problem or discrepancy encountered
in the administration of the election.
(iii) The identified causes of any problem or discrepancy.
(iv) Recommended corrective actions with respect to avoiding
or mitigating any problem or discrepancy in future elections.
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(5) Development of a corrective action plan to address any
findings of error or deficiency within an audit conducted under
this section.
(g) The duties of the Department of State shall include:
(1) Cooperating with the Bureau of Election Audits to enable
efficient conduct of each audit required under subsection (e).
(2) Cooperating with the Bureau of Election Audits to post
the methodologies and results of audits conducted in the
Commonwealth as required under subsection (e)(3) and (4).
(3) Developing a corrective action plan to address any
findings of error or deficiency within an audit conducted under
this section.
Section 209. Reports on Implementation of Elections.--(a)
No later than 60 days after an election, the Bureau of
Commissions, Elections and Legislation of the Department of
State shall issue a report to 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. A copy of the report shall be made available on
the Department of State's publicly accessible Internet website.
(b) The report under subsection (a) shall include only the
following information relating to the administration of the
election by the Department of State, a county board of elections
or a registration commission established under 25 Pa.C.S. ยง 1203
(relating to commissions):
(1) For each county and the sum for this Commonwealth, the
number of applications for an absentee ballot which were
received by the county boards of elections.
(2) For each county and the sum for this Commonwealth, the
number of applications for a mail-in ballot which were received
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by the county boards of elections.
(3) For each county and the sum for this Commonwealth, the
number of applications for an absentee ballot which were
approved by the county boards of elections.
(4) For each county and the sum for this Commonwealth, the
number of applications for a mail-in ballot which were approved
by the county boards of elections.
(5) For each county and the sum for this Commonwealth, the
number of absentee ballots which were voted by the electors.
(6) For each county and the sum for this Commonwealth, the
number of mail-in ballots which were voted by the electors.
(7) For each county and the sum for this Commonwealth, the
number of qualified electors voting by a provisional ballot
under section 1306(b)(2).
(8) For each county and the sum for this Commonwealth, the
number of qualified electors voting by provisional ballot under
section 1306-D(b)(2).
(9) For each county and the sum for this Commonwealth, the
number of provisional ballots under paragraph (7) which were
canvassed.
(10) For each county and the sum for this Commonwealth, the
number of provisional ballots under paragraph (8) which were
canvassed.
(11) For each county and the sum for this Commonwealth, the
number of applications for an absentee ballot by an individual
who was not a registered elector at the time of the application
and for whom a voter registration application was timely
received after the application for an absentee ballot was
received.
(12) For each county and the sum for this Commonwealth, the
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number of applications for a mail-in ballot by an individual who
was not a registered elector at the time of the application and
for whom a voter registration application was timely received.
(13) For each county and the sum for this Commonwealth, the
number of voter registration applications under section 1231 and
25 Pa.C.S. Pt. IV (relating to voter registration) which were
received fewer than:
(i) thirty days before the election; and
(ii) fifteen days before the election.
(14) For each county, the starting and ending date and time
that the county board of elections met to pre-canvass absentee
ballots and mail-in ballots under section 1308(g)(1.1).
(15) For each county, the starting and ending date and time
that the county board of elections met to canvass absentee
ballots and mail-in ballots under section 1308(g)(2).
(16) For each county and the sum for this Commonwealth, the
number of absentee ballots which were challenged under section
1302.2(c).
(17) For each county and the sum for this Commonwealth, the
number of mail-in ballots which were challenged under section
1302.2-D(a)(2).
(18) For each county and the sum for this Commonwealth, the
number of absentee ballots subject to challenges under paragraph
(17) that were not canvassed.
(19) For each county and the sum for this Commonwealth, the
number of mail-in ballots subject to challenges under paragraph
(17) that were not canvassed.
(20) The number of incidents known to the Department of
State, county board of elections or registration commission
relating to each of the following categories:
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(i) Absentee ballots or mail-in ballots that were sent to
the wrong individual or wrong address.
(ii) Absentee ballots or mail-in ballots that were voted by
an individual other than the individual who applied for the
absentee ballot or mail-in ballot.
(iii) Absentee ballots or mail-in ballots that were returned
to the county board of elections by a means other than that
which is permissible by law, notwithstanding any court opinion
or order.
(21) To the extent consistent with Federal and State law, a
review of any action taken by the Department of State, county
board of elections or registration commission in response to an
incident under paragraph (20), including determinations made on
the incident, legal actions filed and referrals to law
enforcement.
(22) A review of issues or incidents encountered with an
electronic voting system that received the approval of the
Secretary of the Commonwealth under section 1105-A, including
any technical issues or software problems encountered in polling
places and recommendations for spot verifications of tabulated
votes as compared to reported votes.
(23) A review of any inconsistent treatment of absentee
ballots and mail-in ballots received by county boards of
elections after 8 p.m. on the day of the election.
(24) A review of any inconsistencies in the manner in which
county boards of elections received, processed or canvassed
absentee ballots and mail-in ballots which did not comply with
the requirements of Article XIII or Article XIII-D.
(25) A review of the access given to poll watchers as
provided for under section 417, including any inconsistencies in
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the standards used in allowing access or disparate treatment of
poll watchers due to political affiliation.
(26) A review of the access given to authorized
representatives under section 1308(g)(1.1) and (2), including
any inconsistencies in the standards used in allowing access or
disparate treatment of authorized representatives due to
political affiliation.
(27) A review of issues or incidents regarding the in-person
return of absentee ballots and mail-in ballots to the county
board of elections at a location other than the main office of
the county board of elections, the monitoring of the locations
and any inconsistencies with the monitoring and usage of the
locations by county board of elections.
(28) A review of issues or incidents of the review process
of absentee ballots, mail-in ballots, ballots cast at polling
places and provisional ballots and any inconsistencies in the
standards applied to determine the eligibility of electors or
ballots by county board of elections.
(c) The Department of State shall develop a process to
collect data required to be included in the report under
subsection (b) from each county board of elections which
conducts an election and each registration commission under 25
Pa.C.S. Pt. IV in a county which conducts an election, as
applicable. A county board of elections or registration
commission under this subsection shall comply with the process
for submission of data under this subsection no later than 45
days after an election.
Section 2. Section 1117-A of the act is repealed:
[Section 1117-A. Statistical Sample.--The county board of
elections, as part of the computation and canvass of returns,
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shall conduct a statistical recount of a random sample of
ballots after each election using manual, mechanical or
electronic devices of a type different than those used for the
specific election. The sample shall include at least two (2) per
centum of the votes cast or two thousand (2,000) votes whichever
is the lesser.]
Section 3. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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