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12/14/2019 08:18 AM
Pennsylvania State Senate
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=S&SPick=20170&cosponId=26055
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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: June 19, 2018 10:18 AM
From: Senator Joseph B. Scarnati, III
To: All Senate members
Subject: Pennsylvania Open Primaries
 
In the near future I will be introducing legislation to allow voters who are registered as independents, to vote in primary elections. My legislation will give over 740,000 registered unaffiliated voters the right to participate in the primary election process. Specifically, on the day of the primary election, it will allow these voters to choose to cast their vote on either the Republican or Democrat ballot. Voters who are registered with either the Republican or Democratic Party will continue to be required to vote on their respective ballots.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 16 states utilize some form of an open primary for unaffiliated voters. These states include Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah and West Virginia.

In our most recent primary election, only 18 percent of Pennsylvania’s registered voters went to the ballot box to cast a vote. The low turnout can in part be attributed to voters feeling disenfranchised by the extremes of both major parties, who have taken control of our primary process. Allowing more people the opportunity to have a voice in their representation is an important step toward ensuring democracy. Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.



Introduced as SB1234