See other bills
under the
same topic
PRINTER'S NO. 128
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
134
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY QUINN, RYAN, SCHLOSSBERG, McNEILL, D. MILLER,
BIZZARRO, FREEMAN, NEILSON, HILL-EVANS AND CONKLIN,
JANUARY 28, 2019
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON STATE GOVERNMENT, JANUARY 28, 2019
AN ACT
Amending Title 25 (Elections) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
Statutes, in voting procedures, providing for assistance for
certain qualified electors.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Title 25 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
Statutes is amended by adding a section to read:
ยง 3303. Assistance for certain qualified electors.
(a) Eligibility.--A qualified elector who has a physical,
emotional, intellectual or developmental disability may request
a ballot by an election official outside the polling place of
the qualified elector.
(b) Distance, marking and casting of vote.--A qualified
elector's vote under subsection (a) shall be cast within 150
feet of the entrance to the polling place. The qualified elector
shall mark the ballot in the election official's presence but in
a secret manner and, obscuring the vote, return the ballot to
the officer. The officer shall immediately return to the polling
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
place and deposit the ballot in the ballot container in
accordance with the instructions of the county election board.
(c) Voting machine alternative.--An election district that
has an electronic voting machine that is easily portable may use
the voting machine in lieu of a printed ballot for the qualified
elector requiring assistance pursuant to subsection (a). The
electronic voting machine may be used in lieu of a printed
ballot if:
(1) the voting machine remains in the plain view of two
election officials representing two political parties, or in
a primary election, two election officials representing the
party conducting the primary, provided that if the use of two
officials for this purpose would result in too few officials
remaining in the polling place to meet legal requirements,
the voting machine shall remain in plain view of one official
who shall be either the chief election official or the
assistant chief election official; and
(2) the qualified elector casts a ballot in a secret
manner unless the qualified elector requests assistance under
this section. After the qualified elector has completed
voting, the election official or officials shall immediately
return the voting machine to its assigned location inside the
polling place.
(d) Recorded information.--If a voting machine is used under
subsection (c), the following information must be recorded by
the election official:
(1) The machine number.
(2) The time that the machine was removed and the time
that it was returned.
(3) The number on the machine's public counter before
20190HB0134PN0128 - 2 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
the machine was removed and the number on the same counter
when it was returned.
(4) The name or names of the officer or officers who
accompanied the machine shall be recorded on the statement of
results.
(e) Assisted voting designation.--A qualified voter who
requires assistance to vote by reason of a physical, emotional,
intellectual or developmental disability or inability to read or
write may, on request, be assisted in voting. If the voter has a
vision impairment, the voter may designate an election official
or any other person to assist in voting. If the voter is unable
to read or write or is disabled for any cause other than vision
impairment, the voter may designate an election official or any
other person to assist the voter other than the voter's employer
or agent of that employer, or officer or agent of the voter's
union.
(f) Assisted voting procedure.--The election official or
other person designated under subsection (e) may not enter the
voting booth with the voter unless:
(1) The voter signs a statement, on a form provided by
the county election board, stating that the voter requires
assistance by reason of a physical, emotional, intellectual
or developmental disability or inability to read or write. If
the voter is unable to sign the statement, the voter's own
mark acknowledged by the voter before an election official
shall be a sufficient signature, provided no mark shall be
required of a voter who is blind.
(2) The election official or other person signs the
statement under paragraph (1) that the official is not the
qualified elector's employer, an agent of that employer or an
20190HB0134PN0128 - 3 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
officer or agent of the qualified elector's union, and the
official will act in accordance with the requirements of this
section.
(g) Advice and recording of name and address.--An election
official shall advise the qualified elector and person assisting
the qualified elector of the requirements of this section and
record the name of the qualified elector and the name and
address of the person assisting the qualified elector.
(h) Instructions in casting vote.--The election official or
other person designated shall assist the qualified elector in
the preparation of the qualified elector's ballot in accordance
with the instructions of the qualified elector and without
soliciting the qualified elector's vote or in any manner
attempting to influence the vote. The election official may not
divulge or indicate, by signs or otherwise, how the qualified
elector voted on any office or question. If a ballot is used,
the official or other person designated shall deposit the ballot
in the ballot container or in the ballot scanner machine in
accordance with the instructions of the county election board.
(i) Translator.--If the qualified elector requires
assistance in a language other than English and has not
designated a person to assist the qualified elector, an election
official, before assisting as interpreter, shall inquire of the
representatives authorized to be present whether a volunteer is
available who can interpret for the qualified elector. One
representative interpreter for each party or candidate, insofar
as available, shall be permitted to observe the election
official communicate with the qualified elector. The qualified
elector may designate one of the volunteer party or candidate
interpreters to provide assistance. A person designated by the
20190HB0134PN0128 - 4 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
qualified elector shall meet all the requirements of this
section for a person providing assistance.
(j) Penalties.--A person who willfully violates subsections
(e), (f), (g), (h) or (i) commits a misdemeanor of the first
degree. The provisions of Chapter 17 (relating to penalties) and
Article XVIII of the act of June 3, 1937 (P.L.1333, No.320),
known as the Pennsylvania Election Code, shall be applicable to
this section.
(k) Audio ballot voting.--In an election district where an
electronic voting machine is available that provides an audio
ballot, the election official shall notify a qualified elector
requiring assistance under this section that a machine is
available for the qualified elector to use in privacy. An
election official shall instruct the qualified elector on the
use of the voting machine. Nothing in this section may be
construed to require a qualified elector to use the machine
unassisted.
(l) Definitions.--The following words and phrases when used
in this section shall have the meanings given to them in this
subsection unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"County election board." The board of elections of a county.
"Election district." A district, division or precinct
established under the Pennsylvania Election Code, in which all
qualified electors are eligible to vote in the same polling
place.
"Election official." The election officers required to
conduct primaries and elections in any election district in
accordance with the provisions of this section. The term shall
include the judge of elections and the majority and minority
inspectors elected or appointed by a county election board and
20190HB0134PN0128 - 5 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
the clerk or machine inspector appointed by a county election
board.
"Qualified elector." An individual who:
(1) possesses all of the qualifications for voting
prescribed by the Constitution of Pennsylvania and the laws
of this Commonwealth; or
(2) being otherwise qualified by continued residence in
the individual's election district, obtains qualifications
under paragraph (1) before the next ensuing election.
Section 2. All acts and parts of acts are repealed insofar
as they are inconsistent with this act.
Section 3. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
20190HB0134PN0128 - 6 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12