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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: February 15, 2017 02:27 PM
From: Senator Lisa M. Boscola
To: All Senate members
Subject: Special Elections
In the near future, I intend to reintroduce legislation that amends the state Election Code to require any election to fill a vacant seat within the Pennsylvania House of Representatives or Senate to be held in conjunction with the next regularly scheduled general or primary election day.

Special elections generally experience lower voter participation than designated general or primary elections. My legislation would no longer allow for special elections that are replete with low turnout as well as added and excessive costs to the citizens of our Commonwealth. Taxpayer dollars that are spent to reimburse counties for special elections could be saved, or reallocated more wisely.

The current practice of calling special elections leaves counties vulnerable to added strain as they account for remote military and overseas ballot requirements, certification of candidate(s) on the ballot, and other challenges that may arise while ensuring election integrity. To this end, the County Commissioners Assoc. of PA (CCAP) platform indicates their organization’s support for the establishment of special elections for vacancies in legislative or Congressional seats to coincide with a primary or general election whenever practical.

I invite you to join me as a co-sponsor. This is a reintroduction of SB 89 from the previous legislative session. Co-sponsors included: Costa, Williams, Fontana, Farnese, Brewster, and Tartaglione.

Introduced as SB285