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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: February 10, 2017 11:47 AM
From: Representative Robert F. Matzie
To: All House members
Subject: Establishing and permitting voting by mail
In the near future, I will introduce legislation that will permit and enable any eligible Pennsylvania voter to cast their ballot by mail.

The ability to vote and elect our governing officials is the most basic tenet of American democracy. As the elected representatives in state government, I believe it is our duty to find ways to make voting for our constituents easier, more accessible and more secure. One of those ways, as other states have shown, is to allow any eligible voter to cast their ballot for any and every election by mail.

Currently, 22 states have provisions allowing certain elections to be conducted entirely by mail, and three of those states - Oregon, Washington and Colorado - hold all elections entirely by mail. California will begin holding all-mail elections in 2018. The ability to vote by mail is shown to increase participation, cut election costs and reduce voter fraud.

My legislation provides guidelines and empowers the PA Department of State and the County Election Boards to establish a vote by mail system in Pennsylvania. Voters would only have to request a mail in ballot once, and then would be sent ballots for every subsequent election unless they opt out. It calls for measures to monitor and ensure voter and ballot integrity, a thorough review and updating of voter rolls and prescribes penalties for fraud.

As we’ve all witnessed, this past election was unprecedented in vitriol and chaos with accusations of voter disenfranchisement, fraud and voting machine tampering being all too prevalent. We have a chance to bring a measure of confidence and convenience back to our election process.

I hope you will join me in supporting this important measure.

Introduced as HB1546