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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: April 18, 2018 11:43 AM
From: Representative Robert F. Matzie
To: All House members
Subject: Conducting elections by paper ballot
In the near future, I will introduce legislation that will require ALL elections in Pennsylvania to be conducted by paper ballot.

While the ability to vote and elect our governing officials is the most basic tenet of American democracy, potential interference or tampering of elections from hostile entities can undermine this core principle.

Recent events have cast a dark cloud over the security of our voting systems. In September 2017, the PA Department of State was notified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that Pennsylvania’s voter registration system (and those in nearly two dozen others states) had been targeted by Russian hackers during the 2016 presidential election.

As we’ve all witnessed, the 2016 presidential election was unprecedented in vitriol and chaos with accusations of voter disenfranchisement, fraud and voting machine tampering being all too prevalent. The reality is that electronic voting systems can easily be hacked. Paper ballots cannot.

As the elected representatives in state government, I believe it is our duty to make certain that those registered to vote have the ability to do so, and that our constituent’s votes be counted for the candidate for which they are cast. We have an opportunity to bring confidence back to our election process.

Earlier this session, I introduced HB 1546, which would establish a vote by mail system in Pennsylvania. I still believe that is best method of conducting elections, combining voter convenience, vote security and cost effectiveness. Short of that, however, I believe that bringing back paper ballots offers the most secure and cost effective way to conduct elections in the Commonwealth.

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