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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: February 21, 2023 10:21 AM
From: Representative Joe Webster and Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta
To: All House members
Subject: Implementing the Bipartisan Joint State Government Commission Report Regarding Mail-in Ballots

Mail-in and drop-off voting makes the democratic process more accessible for eligible voters in every region throughout our state. Despite this benefit, it has been a source of confusion and contention. A lack of clear guidance from the state legislature has only contributed to these issues, and the nonpartisan Joint State Government Commission was tasked with investigating statutory corrections to improve the system’s functionality, security, and transparency.
That is why we are introducing legislation to clarify and streamline the mail-in voting process in Pennsylvania. Based on recommendations made by the Joint State Government Commission in January 2023, our legislation will do the following:
  • Change the term “permanent” mailing list to “annual” mailing list to better reflect its operation and purpose.

  • Change the deadline to apply for a mail-in or an absentee ballot from the current deadline of 7 days before Election Day to 12 days before Election Day, ensuring the postal service has sufficient time to deliver ballots.

  • Eliminate the requirement for the use of secrecy envelopes, making the choice to use the envelope at the discretion of the voter. 

  • Clarify that the requirement to sign and date a mail-in or absentee ballot means to include the date of the voter’s signature, and clarify that failure to date a ballot cannot be the sole grounds to disqualify a ballot.

  • Statutorily provide counties the authority to use ballot drop boxes and establish minimum requirements for counties that choose to use them.
Please join us in co-sponsoring this important legislation. Help to improve our mail-in voting process by implementing these common-sense reforms. Thank you for your consideration.

Introduced as HB282