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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: December 1, 2022 09:52 AM
From: Senator Wayne D. Fontana
To: All Senate members
Subject: Mail In Ballots
In Pennsylvania’s most recent General Election, more than 5.35 million residents voted. Of that, about 26% or 1.4 million requested to vote by mail-in or provisional ballot which allows early voting to take place before an election. As a result, more people voted in the commonwealth’s midterm election than in any other midterm before. I believe that mail-in voting is a big reason why.
Mail-in ballots are not a new concept with some states using this simple, safe, and accommodating means for decades. Currently, eight states and the District of Columbia conduct all-mail in elections where the state sends out ballots to most or all voters automatically.
I will once again be introducing a form of my SB 128 from last session that would change Pennsylvania’s voting system so that all elections would be conduct entirely by mail. Pre-postage attached ballots would be mailed out before Election Day. Voters would be given several days to determine who they would like to vote for and once the decision is made, mark their ballots, and place it into the mail. Additionally, my legislation will allow pre-canvassing of the ballots up to seven days before Election Day as requested by top election officials and county commissioners for several years now. I also plan to add a provision to my legislation this session that would require ballot drop boxes be placed in every municipality building around the state to make voting even more assessable to all.  
People are busy and even for the most well-intended voters, waiting to cast a ballot in person can be risky because things come up like sickness, work, family, unforeseen circumstances and other obligations. An all mail-in ballot voting system is not only convenient and garners great voter participation but also boosts significant benefits like financial savings on jurisdictions and a reduction in need of poll workers. I hope you will join me in moving Pennsylvania’s election system forward by co sponsoring this bill. 

Introduced as SB401