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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 28, 2020 12:17 PM
From: Representative Andrew Lewis
To: All House members
Subject: Changing the Special Election Process in Pennsylvania
The time has come to end the insider-driven, back room special election process and return the power of democracy back to the voters where it belongs.

In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that will amend the PA Election Code. In doing so, the selection process of candidates for special elections will mirror the process of standard primaries and elections, thus allowing the voters to choose the candidate.

For more details on this issue and some statistics on special elections in Pennsylvania, please take a minute to read this opinion editorial I recently published in the Patriot News: https://www.pennlive.com/opinion/2019/10/voters-deserve-real-elections-not-insider-selections-opinion.html.

Currently, whenever a seat becomes open in the House of Representatives or Senate, a date is set for a special election in which to fill it. Candidates to fill the open seat are then selected by political insiders from that district’s political parties and not by the voters. By amending the PA Election Code, a special primary will also become part of the process of the special election to fill a vacant seat. In doing so, the voters in that district will have the final say on which candidate shall run to represent them.

Reforming this process will ensure the voters of the Commonwealth have a voice in the entire process of a special election. Please join me by cosponsoring this bill.