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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: April 18, 2017 12:42 PM
From: Representative Kurt A. Masser
To: All House members
Subject: Establishing a deadline on petition challenges
Election officials and employees have expressed concern to me that delays in final court decisions on petition challenges cause significant problems for counties as they prepare for elections. In particular these delays have caused problems with ballot and absentee ballot preparations and the mailing of absentee ballots.

In an effort to address these concerns, I plan to introduce legislation that will establish a deadline for common pleas or Commonwealth Court decisions on petition challenges of 9 weeks before the applicable election and a deadline for final decisions of any appeals made to such decisions of 7 ½ weeks before the election. To facilitate the deadline changes, the petition circulating and filing period will begin one week earlier.

These deadlines will help to ensure that counties have the information they need regarding candidates appearing on the ballot, so that they may comply with the statutory deadline for mailing absentee ballots. Additionally, I am hopeful that these deadlines will reduce disruptions in election preparation processes generally.

The work performed by election officials is vital to maintaining the integrity of our election process. I encourage you to consider cosponsoring this bill, which will help to facilitate and improve this process. Any questions, please contact Cindy Abbott in my office at 260-6134.

Introduced as HB1825