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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: December 4, 2015 11:45 AM
From: Representative Jim Marshall
To: All House members
Subject: Universal Absentee Voting Legislation
In the near future I intend to introduce legislation to expand the availability of absentee voting to any qualified voter. As you know, under current law, voters must be outside of their municipality of residence because of business, suffering from an illness or disability, observing a religious holiday or performing Election Day duties in order to utilize an absentee ballot.

In an era in which voter turnout is in decline and many families are overwhelmed by time demands, the use of proven process to expand accessibility to the electoral process makes sense. The absentee voting process has a number of important checks and balances, including the relatively new ID requirement, which was upheld by the Commonwealth Court.

Article VII, section 14 of the Pennsylvania Constitution establishes the current requirements for absentee voting. My legislation proposes to amend this constitutional provision to allow any qualified voter to cast a vote by absentee ballot.

I encourage you to consider cosponsoring this important election legislation.

Introduced as HB1778