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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: March 12, 2019 04:56 PM
From: Representative Christopher M. Rabb
To: All House members
Subject: Reforming the Special Election Nominating Process
Representative democracy is based on the idea that citizens elect individuals to represent them in government; unfortunately, the process for nominating candidates in special elections fails to meet this standard. Current law establishes an inconsistent process where party leaders nominate candidates outside of the public eye.

Certainly, the process for nominating candidates in special elections is time-sensitive and requires different parameters than a normal election, but there is no reason that this process cannot encourage broader participation. To correct this problem, I will be introducing legislation that will establish consistency, transparency, and integrity in the special election process.

My proposal will require potential candidates to file their candidacy with a political party in each county of the legislative district, pay a filing fee, and prepare an announcement video. Further, my bill provides that political parties must advertise and hold a public meeting, with the majority of its members present, to consider candidates.

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 HB1661