|Posted:||March 15, 2021 05:31 PM|
|From:||Senator Doug Mastriano|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Creation of the Pennsylvania Elections Commission|
|In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation to replace the Department of State's Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation with a multi-branch Pennsylvania Elections Commission to oversee the administration of the elections process and voter registration in our Commonwealth.
The nucleus of any democratic society is confidence that elections will be fair and that each citizen’s legal vote will count. In 2020, the Governor, Secretary of State, and the State Supreme Court collectively acted to rewrite Act 77.
Doing away with signature verification, blocking adequate oversight by poll watchers, permitting the curing of defective ballots, and allowing ballots to be received and counted after the statutory deadline were just some of the actions taken prior to the 2020 election that ran contrary to the law and were not authorized by the General Assembly.
Pennsylvania is one of only 5 states in the U.S where a chief election official is appointed solely by the governor. Others have theirs nominated by the legislature or directly by the people in an election.
It is time to restore the General Assembly’s role in ensuring free and fair elections in Pennsylvania.
The Election Commission will be made up of three Commissioners to lead oversight of statewide elections.
The Governor, Pro Temp of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House will be allowed to nominate one member each.
All three nominees to the Commission will need to be confirmed by both houses of the General Assembly. Each Commissioner will serve a four-year term.
Please consider co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation.
Introduced as SB819