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06/24/2024 07:17 AM
Pennsylvania State Senate
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=S&SPick=20230&cosponId=40241
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: March 20, 2023 04:38 PM
From: Senator John I. Kane
To: All Senate members
Subject: Increasing Voter Participation by Creating Election Day Holidays
 
I will soon introduce legislation that will make primary, municipal, and general Election Day a state and municipal holiday. It also allows counties and school districts to observe Election Day as a legal holiday. It will also require private sector employers to provide two hours of unpaid leave on Election Day, to help ensure that working Pennsylvanians are able to cast their ballot. Employers that fail to provide two hours of unpaid leave shall pay a civil penalty of $1,000.
 

Pennsylvanians holding jobs with rigid schedules, long commutes, and lengthy workdays often face limited opportunities to vote, and long lines at their polling places in the short window they have to do so. Consequently, these employees miss out on the opportunity to make their voices heard in our elections.

 

It’s time to make voting easier and more accessible for Pennsylvania’s working population. Making Election Day a state and municipal holiday could increase voter turnout and participation in elections, allowing more Pennsylvanians to exercise their fundamental right to vote.  

 

This bill is identical to SB863 of the 2021-2022 session. SB863 was cosponsored by Senators Fontana, Costa, Muth, Kearney and Street.

 
Please join me in sponsoring this important legislation to help all Pennsylvanians vote.



Introduced as SB642