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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: August 14, 2017 03:21 PM
From: Representative Christopher M. Rabb
To: All House members
Subject: Special Election Reform - Candidacy and Political Party Requirements
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation amending the Pennsylvania Election Code (P.L.1333, No.320), establishing consistency across the Commonwealth for candidates and political parties in special elections.
Under current law, a candidate for a special election is nominated by a process in accordance with their respective political party rules. Unfortunately, such time-sensitive processes often discourage broad participation from prospective candidates or timely voter education about the process for, or selection of, party nominees for special elections in the aftermath of a state lawmaker leaving office prematurely.
To remedy this issue, my proposal will establish transparency and public integrity in the special election process for senators and representatives in the General Assembly. First, individuals interested in becoming a candidate in a special election would be required to do the following:
  • File their candidacy with the political party within each county of the legislative district;
  • Pay a $250 filing fee; and,
  • Prepare, or opt-out of preparing, a short video announcing their candidacy which will be posted on the Department of State’s website and made available to the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN).
The adoption of this legislation will also require political parties to advertise and hold a public meeting, with the majority of its members present, to consider each individual who seeks consideration as a candidate in a special election.
I believe that special elections have left habitual voters out of the process. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we address the injustice in this process. Your consideration and co-sponsorship are encouraged and appreciated.

Introduced as HB1758