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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: April 2, 2015 01:47 PM
From: Senator Daylin Leach
To: All Senate members
Subject: Early Voting
In the near future, I plan to re-introduce a bill on early voting in Pennsylvania (prior session SB 1152). This bill will provide for polling places to be open across the Commonwealth for the two weeks prior to Election Day. No excuse would be required to vote early and the polling places would be public, centrally located and well published, just as they are on Election Day.

The 2008 election provided an excellent example of what can happen when voter participation is high. Long lines led to voter fatigue and in some places the inability to process the unusually high number of voters. Some outlet is needed to relieve the pressure on polling places. Since Pennsylvania requires an excuse to get an absentee ballot the only other way to expand voting opportunity is through early voting.

My bill is modeled on Florida’s successful early voting provisions, in place for the 2008 election cycle. Early voting sites would be open 8 hours every weekday and a total of 8 hours every weekend in the two weeks leading up to Election Day. No one who votes early would be allowed to vote on Election Day, just as absentee voters are barred from voting on Election Day, and results of early voting would not be tabulated until after polls close on Election Day to prevent early returns from influencing later voting.

If you have questions about this legislation, please contact my Legislative Director, Jon Tew, at jtew@pasenate.com or 610-768-4200.

Introduced as SB742