PRINTER'S NO. 4621
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
2971
Session of
2020
INTRODUCED BY PUSKARIC, NOVEMBER 19, 2020
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON STATE GOVERNMENT, NOVEMBER 19, 2020
AN ACT
Amending the act of June 3, 1937 (P.L.1333, No.320), entitled
"An act concerning elections, including general, municipal,
special and primary elections, the nomination of candidates,
primary and election expenses and election contests; creating
and defining membership of county boards of elections;
imposing duties upon the Secretary of the Commonwealth,
courts, county boards of elections, county commissioners;
imposing penalties for violation of the act, and codifying,
revising and consolidating the laws relating thereto; and
repealing certain acts and parts of acts relating to
elections," repealing provisions relating to voting by
qualified mail-in electors; and making conforming and
editorial changes.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Section 102(q.1), (z.5)(3) and (z.6) of the act
of June 3, 1937 (P.L.1333, No.320), known as the Pennsylvania
Election Code, amended or added October 31, 2019 (P.L.552,
No.77) and March 27, 2020 (P.L.41, No.12), are amended to read:
Section 102. Definitions.--The following words, when used in
this act, shall have the following meanings, unless otherwise
clearly apparent from the context:
* * *
(q.1) The word "pre-canvass" shall mean the inspection and
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opening of all envelopes containing official absentee ballots
[or mail-in ballots], the removal of such ballots from the
envelopes and the counting, computing and tallying of the votes
reflected on the ballots. The term does not include the
recording or publishing of the votes reflected on the ballots.
* * *
(z.5) The words "proof of identification" shall mean:
* * *
(3) For a qualified absentee elector under section 1301 [or
a qualified mail-in elector under section 1301-D]:
(i) in the case of an elector who has been issued a current
and valid driver's license, the elector's driver's license
number;
(ii) in the case of an elector who has not been issued a
current and valid driver's license, the last four digits of the
elector's Social Security number;
(iii) in the case of an elector who has a religious
objection to being photographed, a copy of a document that
satisfies paragraph (1); or
(iv) in the case of an elector who has not been issued a
current and valid driver's license or Social Security number, a
copy of a document that satisfies paragraph (2).
[(z.6) The words "qualified mail-in elector" shall mean a
qualified elector. The term does not include a person
specifically prohibited from being a qualified absentee elector
under section 1301.]
Section 2. Section 302(p) of the act, amended March 27, 2020
(P.L.41, No.12), is amended to read:
Section 302. Powers and Duties of County Boards.--The county
boards of elections, within their respective counties, shall
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exercise, in the manner provided by this act, all powers granted
to them by this act, and shall perform all the duties imposed
upon them by this act, which shall include the following:
* * *
(p) A county board of elections shall not pay compensation
to a judge of elections who wilfully fails to deliver by two
o'clock A. M. on the day following the election envelopes;
supplies, including all uncast provisional ballots; and returns,
including all provisional ballots cast in the election district
and statements signed under [sections] section 1306 [and 1302-
D].
Section 3. Section 1007(b) of the act, amended November 27,
2019 (P.L.673, No.94), is amended to read:
Section 1007. Number of Ballots to Be Printed; Specimen
Ballots.--* * *
(b) The county board of each county shall also, in addition
to the number of ballots required to be printed for general
distribution, maintain a sufficient supply of such ballots at
the office of the county board for the use of absentee electors
[or mail-in electors] and for the use of any district, the
ballots for which may be lost, destroyed or stolen. They shall
also cause to be printed on tinted paper, and without the
facsimile endorsements or permanent binding, copies of the form
of ballots provided for each polling place at each primary or
election therein, which shall be called specimen ballots, and
which shall be of the same size and form as the official
ballots, and at each election they shall deliver to the election
officers, in addition to the official ballots to be used at such
election, a suitable supply of specimen ballots for the use of
the electors. At each primary, a suitable supply of specimen
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ballots of each party shall be furnished.
Section 4. Section 1210(a.4)(5)(ii)(F) of the act, amended
October 31, 2019 (P.L.552, No.77), is amended to read:
Section 1210. Manner of Applying to Vote; Persons Entitled
to Vote; Voter's Certificates; Entries to Be Made in District
Register; Numbered Lists of Voters; Challenges.--* * *
(a.4) * * *
(5) * * *
(ii) A provisional ballot shall not be counted if:
* * *
(F) the elector's absentee ballot [or mail-in ballot] is
timely received by a county board of elections.
* * *
Section 5. Section 1302.2(c) of the act, amended March 27,
2020 (P.L.41, No.12), is amended to read:
Section 1302.2. Approval of Application for Absentee
Ballot.--
* * *
(c) The county board of elections, upon receipt of any
application of a qualified elector required to be registered
under the provisions of preceding section 1301, shall determine
the qualifications of such applicant by verifying the proof of
identification and comparing the information set forth on such
application with the information contained on the applicant's
permanent registration card. If the board is satisfied that the
applicant is qualified to receive an official absentee ballot,
the application shall be marked "approved." Such approval
decision shall be final and binding, except that challenges may
be made only on the ground that the applicant was not a
qualified elector. Such challenges must be made to the county
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board of elections prior to five o'clock p.m. on the Friday
prior to the election[: Provided, however, That a challenge to
an application for an absentee ballot shall not be permitted on
the grounds that the elector used an application for an absentee
ballot instead of an application for a mail-in ballot or on the
grounds that the elector used an application for a mail-in
ballot instead of an application for an absentee ballot].
* * *
Section 6. Sections 1302.3 heading and subsection (c) and
1305(b) of the act, amended October 31, 2019 (P.L.552, No.77),
are amended to read:
Section 1302.3. Absentee and [Mail-in Electors] Files and
Lists.--
* * *
(c) Not less than five days preceding the election, the
chief clerk shall prepare a list for each election district
showing the names and post office addresses of all voting
residents thereof to whom official absentee [or mail-in] ballots
shall have been issued. Each such list shall be prepared in
duplicate, shall be headed "Persons in (give identity of
election district) to whom absentee [or mail-in] ballots have
been issued for the election of (date of election)," and shall
be signed by him not less than four days preceding the election.
He shall post the original of each such list in a conspicuous
place in the office of the county election board and see that it
is kept so posted until the close of the polls on election day.
He shall cause the duplicate of each such list to be delivered
to the judge of election in the election district in the same
manner and at the same time as are provided in this act for the
delivery of other election supplies, and it shall be the duty of
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such judge of election to post such duplicate list in a
conspicuous place within the polling place of his district and
see that it is kept so posted throughout the time that the polls
are open. Upon written request, he shall furnish a copy of such
list to any candidate or party county chairman.
Section 1305. Delivering or Mailing Ballots.--
* * *
(b) (1) The county board of elections upon receipt and
approval of an application filed by any elector qualified in
accordance with the provisions of section 1301, subsections (i)
to (l), inclusive, shall commence to deliver or mail official
absentee ballots as soon as a ballot is certified and the
ballots are available. While any proceeding is pending in a
Federal or State court which would affect the contents of any
ballot, the county board of elections may await a resolution of
that proceeding but in any event, shall commence to deliver or
mail official absentee ballots not later than the second Tuesday
prior to the primary or election. For those applicants whose
proof of identification was not provided with the application or
could not be verified by the board, the board shall send the
notice required under section 1302.2(d) with the absentee
ballot. As additional applications are received and approved
after the time that the county board of elections begins
delivering or mailing official absentee [and mail-in] ballots,
the board shall deliver or mail official absentee ballots to
such additional electors within forty-eight hours.
(2) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this act and
notwithstanding the inclusion of a mailing address on an
absentee [or mail-in] ballot application, a voter who presents
the voter's own application for an absentee [or mail-in] ballot
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within the office of the county board of elections during
regular business hours may request to receive the voter's
absentee [or mail-in] ballot while the voter is at the office.
This request may be made orally or in writing. Upon presentation
of the application and the making of the request and upon
approval under [sections] section 1302.2 [and 1302.2-D], the
county board of elections shall promptly present the voter with
the voter's absentee [or mail-in] ballot. If a voter presents
the voter's application within the county board of elections'
office in accordance with this section, a county board of
elections may not deny the voter's request to have the ballot
presented to the voter while the voter is at the office unless
there is a bona fide objection to the absentee [or mail-in]
ballot application.
* * *
Section 7. Section 1306(b)(3) of the act, amended March 27,
2020 (P.L.41, No.12), is amended to read:
Section 1306. Voting by Absentee Electors.--* * *
(b) * * *
(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (2), an elector who requests
an absentee ballot and who is not shown on the district register
as having voted the ballot may vote at the polling place if the
elector remits the ballot and the envelope containing the
declaration of the elector to the judge of elections to be
spoiled and the elector signs a statement subject to the
penalties under 18 Pa.C.S. § 4904 (relating to unsworn
falsification to authorities) in substantially the following
form:
I hereby declare that I am a qualified registered elector who
has obtained an absentee ballot [or mail-in ballot]. I
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further declare that I have not cast my absentee ballot [or
mail-in ballot], and that instead I remitted my absentee
ballot [or mail-in ballot] and the envelope containing the
declaration of the elector to the judge of elections at my
polling place to be spoiled and therefore request that my
absentee ballot [or mail-in ballot] be voided.
(Date)
(Signature of Elector)................(Address of Elector)
(Local Judge of Elections)
* * *
Section 8. Section 1308(a), (b), (d), (f), (g) and (h) of
the act, amended October 31, 2019 (P.L.552, No.77) and March 27,
2020 (P.L.41, No.12), are amended to read:
Section 1308. Canvassing of Official Absentee Ballots [and
Mail-in Ballots].--(a) The county boards of election, upon
receipt of official absentee ballots in sealed official absentee
ballot envelopes as provided under this article [and mail-in
ballots as in sealed official mail-in ballot envelopes as
provided under Article XIII-D], shall safely keep the ballots in
sealed or locked containers until they are to be canvassed by
the county board of elections. An absentee ballot, whether
issued to a civilian, military or other voter during the regular
or emergency application period, shall be canvassed in
accordance with subsection (g). [A mail-in ballot shall be
canvassed in accordance with subsection (g)].
(b) Watchers shall be permitted to be present when the
envelopes containing official absentee ballots [and mail-in
ballots] are opened and when such ballots are counted and
recorded.
* * *
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(d) Whenever it shall appear by due proof that any absentee
elector [or mail-in elector] who has returned his ballot in
accordance with the provisions of this act has died prior to the
opening of the polls on the day of the primary or election, the
ballot of such deceased elector shall be rejected by the
canvassers but the counting of the ballot of an absentee elector
[or a mail-in elector] thus deceased shall not of itself
invalidate any nomination or election.
(f) Any person challenging an application for an absentee
ballot[,] or an absentee ballot[, an application for a mail-in
ballot or a mail-in ballot] for any of the reasons provided in
this act shall deposit the sum of ten dollars ($10.00) in cash
with the county board, which sum shall only be refunded if the
challenge is sustained or if the challenge is withdrawn within
five (5) days after the primary or election. If the challenge is
dismissed by any lawful order then the deposit shall be
forfeited. The county board shall deposit all deposit money in
the general fund of the county.
Notice of the requirements of subsection (b) of section 1306
shall be printed on the envelope for the absentee ballot [or
mail-in ballot].
(g) (1) (i) An absentee ballot cast by any absentee
elector as defined in section 1301(a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f),
(g) and (h) shall be canvassed in accordance with this
subsection if the ballot is cast, submitted and received in
accordance with the provisions of 25 Pa.C.S. Ch. 35 (relating to
uniform military and overseas voters).
(ii) An absentee ballot cast by any absentee elector as
defined in section 1301(i), (j), (k), (l), (m) and (n)[,] or an
absentee ballot under section 1302(a.3) [or a mail-in ballot
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cast by a mail-in elector] shall be canvassed in accordance with
this subsection if the absentee ballot [or mail-in ballot] is
received in the office of the county board of elections no later
than eight o'clock P.M. on the day of the primary or election.
(1.1) The county board of elections shall meet no earlier
than seven o'clock A.M. on election day to pre-canvass all
ballots received prior to the meeting. A county board of
elections shall provide at least forty-eight hours' notice of a
pre-canvass meeting by publicly posting a notice of a pre-
canvass meeting on its publicly accessible Internet website. One
authorized representative of each candidate in an election and
one representative from each political party shall be permitted
to remain in the room in which the absentee ballots [and mail-in
ballots] are pre-canvassed. No person observing, attending or
participating in a pre-canvass meeting may disclose the results
of any portion of any pre-canvass meeting prior to the close of
the polls.
(2) The county board of elections shall meet no earlier than
the close of polls on the day of the election and no later than
the third day following the election to begin canvassing
absentee ballots [and mail-in ballots] not included in the pre-
canvass meeting. The meeting under this paragraph shall continue
until all absentee ballots [and mail-in ballots] received prior
to the close of the polls have been canvassed. The county board
of elections shall not record or publish any votes reflected on
the ballots prior to the close of the polls. The canvass process
shall continue through the eighth day following the election for
valid military-overseas ballots timely received under 25 Pa.C.S.
§ 3511 (relating to receipt of voted ballot). A county board of
elections shall provide at least forty-eight hours' notice of a
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canvass meeting by publicly posting a notice on its publicly
accessible Internet website. One authorized representative of
each candidate in an election and one representative from each
political party shall be permitted to remain in the room in
which the absentee ballots [and mail-in ballots] are canvassed.
(3) When the county board meets to pre-canvass or canvass
absentee ballots [and mail-in ballots ] under paragraphs (1),
(1.1) and (2), the board shall examine the declaration on the
envelope of each ballot not set aside under subsection (d) and
shall compare the information thereon with that contained in the
"Registered Absentee [and Mail-in] Voters File," the absentee
voters' list and/or the "Military Veterans and Emergency
Civilians Absentee Voters File," whichever is applicable. If the
county board has verified the proof of identification as
required under this act and is satisfied that the declaration is
sufficient and the information contained in the "Registered
Absentee [and Mail-in] Voters File," the absentee voters' list
and/or the "Military Veterans and Emergency Civilians Absentee
Voters File" verifies his right to vote, the county board shall
provide a list of the names of electors whose absentee ballots
[or mail-in ballots] are to be pre-canvassed or canvassed.
(4) All absentee ballots which have not been challenged
under section 1302.2(c) [and all mail-in ballots which have not
been challenged under section 1302.2-D(a)(2)] and that have been
verified under paragraph (3) shall be counted and included with
the returns of the applicable election district as follows:
(i) The county board shall open the envelope of every
unchallenged absentee elector [and mail-in elector] in such
manner as not to destroy the declaration executed thereon.
(ii) If any of the envelopes on which are printed, stamped
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or endorsed the words "Official Election Ballot" contain any
text, mark or symbol which reveals the identity of the elector,
the elector's political affiliation or the elector's candidate
preference, the envelopes and the ballots contained therein
shall be set aside and declared void.
(iii) The county board shall then break the seals of such
envelopes, remove the ballots and count, compute and tally the
votes.
(iv) Following the close of the polls, the county board
shall record and publish the votes reflected on the ballots.
(5) Ballots received whose applications have been challenged
and ballots which have been challenged shall be placed unopened
in a secure, safe and sealed container in the custody of the
county board until it shall fix a time and place for a formal
hearing of all such challenges, and notice shall be given where
possible to all absentee electors [and mail-in electors] thus
challenged and to every individual who made a challenge. The
time for the hearing shall not be later than seven (7) days
after the deadline for all challenges to be filed. On the day
fixed for said hearing, the county board shall proceed without
delay to hear said challenges, and, in hearing the testimony,
the county board shall not be bound by the Pennsylvania Rules of
Evidence. The testimony presented shall be stenographically
recorded and made part of the record of the hearing.
(6) The decision of the county board in upholding or
dismissing any challenge may be reviewed by the court of common
pleas of the county upon a petition filed by any person
aggrieved by the decision of the county board. The appeal shall
be taken, within two (2) days after the decision was made,
whether the decision was reduced to writing or not, to the court
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of common pleas setting forth the objections to the county
board's decision and praying for an order reversing the
decision.
(7) Pending the final determination of all appeals, the
county board shall suspend any action in canvassing and
computing all challenged ballots received under this subsection
irrespective of whether or not appeal was taken from the county
board's decision. Upon completion of the computation of the
returns of the county, the votes cast upon the challenged
official absentee ballots that have been finally determined to
be valid shall be added to the other votes cast within the
county.
(h) For those absentee ballots [or mail-in ballots] for
which proof of identification has not been received or could not
be verified:
(2) If the proof of identification is received and verified
prior to the sixth calendar day following the election, then the
county board of elections shall canvass the absentee ballots
[and mail-in ballots] under this subsection in accordance with
subsection (g)(2).
(3) If an elector fails to provide proof of identification
that can be verified by the county board of elections by the
sixth calendar day following the election, then the absentee
ballot [or mail-in ballot] shall not be counted.
Section 9. Article XIII-D of the act is repealed:
[ARTICLE XIII-D
VOTING BY QUALIFIED MAIL-IN ELECTORS
Section 1301-D. Qualified mail-in electors.
(a) General rule.--A qualified mail-in elector shall be
entitled to vote by an official mail-in ballot in any primary or
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election held in this Commonwealth in the manner provided under
this article.
(b) Construction.--The term "qualified mail-in elector"
shall not be construed to include a person not otherwise
qualified as a qualified elector in accordance with the
definition in section 102(t).
Section 1302-D. Applications for official mail-in ballots.
(a) General rule.--A qualified elector under section 1301-D
may apply at any time before any primary or election for an
official mail-in ballot in person or on any official county
board of election form addressed to the Secretary of the
Commonwealth or the county board of election of the county in
which the qualified elector's voting residence is located.
(b) Content.--The following shall apply:
(1) The qualified elector's application shall contain
the following information:
(i) Date of birth.
(ii) Length of time a resident of voting district.
(iii) Voting district, if known.
(iv) Party choice in case of primary.
(v) Name.
(2) A qualified elector shall, in addition, specify the
address to which the ballot is to be sent, the relationship
where necessary and other information as may be determined by
the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
(3) When an application is received by the Secretary of
the Commonwealth it shall be forwarded to the proper county
board of election.
(c) Signature required.--Except as provided in subsection
(d), the application of a qualified elector under section 1301-D
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for an official mail-in ballot in any primary or election shall
be signed by the applicant.
(d) Signature not required.--If any elector entitled to a
mail-in ballot under this section is unable to sign the
application because of illness or physical disability, the
elector shall be excused from signing upon making a statement
which shall be witnessed by one adult person in substantially
the following form:
I hereby state that I am unable to sign my application
for a mail-in ballot without assistance because I am
unable to write by reason of my illness or physical
disability. I have made or have received assistance in
making my mark in lieu of my signature.
(Mark)
(Date)
(Complete Address of Witness)
(Signature of Witness)
(e) Numbering.--The county board of elections shall number,
in chronological order, the applications for an official mail-in
ballot, which number shall likewise appear on the official mail-
in ballot for the qualified elector. The numbers shall appear
legibly and in a conspicuous place but, before the ballots are
distributed, the number on the ballot shall be torn off by the
county board of election. The number information shall be
appropriately inserted and become a part of the Registered
Absentee and Mail-in Voters File provided under section 1302.3.
(f) Form.--Application for an official mail-in ballot shall
be on physical and electronic forms prescribed by the Secretary
of the Commonwealth. The application shall state that a voter
who applies for a mail-in ballot under section 1301-D shall not
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be eligible to vote at a polling place on election day unless
the elector brings the elector's mail-in ballot to the elector's
polling place, remits the ballot and the envelope containing the
declaration of the elector to the judge of elections to be
spoiled and signs a statement subject to the penalties under 18
Pa.C.S. § 4904 (relating to unsworn falsification to
authorities) to the same effect. The physical application forms
shall be made freely available to the public at county board of
elections, municipal buildings and at other locations designated
by the Secretary of the Commonwealth. The electronic application
forms shall be made freely available to the public through
publicly accessible means. No written application or personal
request shall be necessary to receive or access the application
forms. Copies and records of all completed physical and
electronic applications for official mail-in ballots shall be
retained by the county board of elections.
(g) Permanent mail-in voting list.--
(1) Any qualified registered elector may request to be
placed on a permanent mail-in ballot list file at any time
during the calendar year. A mail-in ballot application shall
be mailed to every person otherwise eligible to receive a
mail-in ballot application by the first Monday in February
each year or within 48 hours of receipt of the request,
whichever is later, so long as the person does not lose the
person's voting rights by failure to vote as otherwise
required by this act. A mail-in ballot application mailed to
an elector under this section, which is completed and timely
returned by the elector, shall serve as an application for
any and all primary, general or special elections to be held
in the remainder of that calendar year and for all special
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elections to be held before the third Monday in February of
the succeeding year.
(2) The Secretary of the Commonwealth may develop an
electronic system through which all qualified electors may
apply for a mail-in ballot and request permanent mail-in
voter status under this section, provided the system is able
to capture a digitized or electronic signature of the
applicant. A county board of elections shall treat an
application or request received through the electronic system
as if the application or request had been submitted on a
paper form or any other format used by the county.
(3) The transfer of a qualified registered elector on a
permanent mail-in voting list from one county to another
county shall only be permitted upon the request of the
qualified registered elector.
Section 1302.1-D. Date of application for mail-in ballot.
(a) General rule.--Applications for mail-in ballots shall be
received in the office of the county board of elections not
earlier than 50 days before the primary or election, except that
if a county board of elections determines that it would be
appropriate to the county board of elections' operational needs,
any applications for mail-in ballots received more than 50 days
before the primary or election may be processed before that
time. Applications for mail-in ballots shall be processed if
received not later than five o'clock P.M. of the first Tuesday
prior to the day of any primary or election.
(b) Early applications.--In the case of an elector whose
application for a mail-in ballot is received by the office of
the county board of elections earlier than 50 days before the
primary or election, the application shall be held and processed
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upon commencement of the 50-day period or at such earlier time
as the county board of elections determines may be appropriate.
Section 1302.2-D. Approval of application for mail-in ballot.
(a) Approval process.--The county board of elections, upon
receipt of any application of a qualified elector under section
1301-D, shall determine the qualifications of the applicant by
verifying the proof of identification and comparing the
information provided on the application with the information
contained on the applicant's permanent registration card. The
following shall apply:
(1) If the board is satisfied that the applicant is
qualified to receive an official mail-in ballot, the
application shall be marked "approved."
(2) The approval decision shall be final and binding,
except that challenges may be made only on the grounds that
the applicant was not a qualified elector.
(3) Challenges must be made to the county board of
elections prior to five o'clock p.m. on the Friday prior to
the election: Provided, however, That a challenge to an
application for a mail-in ballot shall not be permitted on
the grounds that the elector used an application for a mail-
in ballot instead of an application for an absentee ballot or
on the grounds that the elector used an application for an
absentee ballot instead of an application for a mail-in
ballot.
(4) When approved, the registration commission shall
cause a mail-in voter's record to be inserted in the district
register as prescribed by the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
(b) Duties of county boards of elections and registration
commissions.--The duties of the county boards of elections and
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the registration commissions with respect to the insertion of
the mail-in voter's record shall include only the applications
as are received on or before the first Tuesday prior to the
primary or election.
(c) Notice.--In the event that an application for an
official mail-in ballot is not approved by the county board of
elections, the elector shall be notified immediately with a
statement by the county board of the reasons for the
disapproval. For applicants whose proof of identification was
not provided with the application or could not be verified by
the board, the board shall send notice to the elector with the
mail-in ballot requiring the elector to provide proof of
identification with the mail-in ballot or the ballot will not be
counted.
Section 1304-D. Envelopes for official mail-in ballots.
(a) Additional envelopes.--The county boards of election
shall provide two additional envelopes for each official mail-in
ballot of a size and shape as shall be prescribed by the
Secretary of the Commonwealth, in order to permit the placing of
one within the other and both within the mailing envelope. On
the smaller of the two envelopes to be enclosed in the mailing
envelope shall be printed, stamped or endorsed the words
"Official Election Ballot," and nothing else. On the larger of
the two envelopes, to be enclosed within the mailing envelope,
shall be printed the form of the declaration of the elector and
the name and address of the county board of election of the
proper county. The larger envelope shall also contain
information indicating the local election district of the mail-
in voter.
(b) Form of declaration and envelope.--The form of
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declaration and envelope shall be as prescribed by the Secretary
of the Commonwealth and shall contain, among other things, a
statement of the elector's qualifications, together with a
statement that the elector has not already voted in the primary
or election.
(c) Mailing envelope.--The mailing envelope addressed to the
elector shall contain the two envelopes, the official mail-in
ballot, lists of candidates, when authorized by section 1303-
D(b), the uniform instructions in form and substance as
prescribed by the Secretary of the Commonwealth and nothing
else.
(d) Notice.--Notice of the requirements under section 1306-D
shall be printed on the envelope for the mail-in ballot.
Section 1305-D. Delivering or mailing ballots.
The county board of elections, upon receipt and approval of
an application filed by a qualified elector under section 1301-
D, shall commence to deliver or mail official mail-in ballots
as soon as a ballot is certified and the ballots are available.
While any proceeding is pending in a Federal or State court
which would affect the contents of any ballot, the county board
of elections may await a resolution of that proceeding but in
any event, shall commence to deliver or mail official mail-in
ballots not later than the second Tuesday prior to the primary
or election. For applicants whose proof of identification was
not provided with the application or could not be verified by
the board, the board shall send the notice required under
section 1302.2-D(c) with the mail-in ballot. As additional
applications are received and approved, the board shall deliver
or mail official mail-in ballots to the additional electors
within 48 hours.
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Section 1306-D. Voting by mail-in electors.
(a) General rule.--At any time after receiving an official
mail-in ballot, but on or before eight o'clock P.M. the day of
the primary or election, the mail-in elector shall, in secret,
proceed to mark the ballot only in black lead pencil, indelible
pencil or blue, black or blue-black ink, in fountain pen or ball
point pen, and then fold the ballot, enclose and securely seal
the same in the envelope on which is printed, stamped or
endorsed "Official Election Ballot." This envelope shall then be
placed in the second one, on which is printed the form of
declaration of the elector, and the address of the elector's
county board of election and the local election district of the
elector. The elector shall then fill out, date and sign the
declaration printed on such envelope. Such envelope shall then
be securely sealed and the elector shall send same by mail,
postage prepaid, except where franked, or deliver it in person
to said county board of election.
(a.1) Signature.--Any elector who is unable to sign the
declaration because of illness or physical disability, shall be
excused from signing upon making a declaration which shall be
witnessed by one adult person in substantially the following
form:
I hereby declare that I am unable to sign my declaration
for voting my mail-in ballot without assistance because I
am unable to write by reason of my illness or physical
disability. I have made or received assistance in making
my mark in lieu of my signature.
(Mark)
(Date)
(Complete Address of Witness)
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(Signature of Witness)
(b) Eligibility.--
(1) Any elector who receives and votes a mail-in ballot
under section 1301-D shall not be eligible to vote at a
polling place on election day. The district register at each
polling place shall clearly identify electors who have
received and voted mail-in ballots as ineligible to vote at
the polling place, and district election officers shall not
permit electors who voted a mail-in ballot to vote at the
polling place.
(2) An elector who requests a mail-in ballot and who is
not shown on the district register as having voted may vote
by provisional ballot under section 1210(a.4)(1).
(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (2), an elector who
requests a mail-in ballot and who is not shown on the
district register as having voted the ballot may vote at the
polling place if the elector remits the ballot and the
envelope containing the declaration of the elector to the
judge of elections to be spoiled and the elector signs a
statement subject to the penalties of 18 Pa.C.S. § 4904
(relating to unsworn falsification to authorities) which
shall be in substantially the following form:
I hereby declare that I am a qualified registered elector
who has obtained an absentee ballot or mail-in ballot. I
further declare that I have not cast my absentee ballot or
mail-in ballot, and that instead I remitted my absentee
ballot or mail-in ballot to the judge of elections at my
polling place to be spoiled and therefore request that my
absentee ballot or mail-in ballot be voided.
(Date)
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(Signature of Elector)...........(Address of Elector)
(Local Judge of Elections)
(c) Deadline.--Except as provided under 25 Pa.C.S. § 3511
(relating to receipt of voted ballot), a completed mail-in
ballot must be received in the office of the county board of
elections no later than eight o'clock P.M. on the day of the
primary or election.
Section 1307-D. Public records.
(a) General rule.--All official mail-in ballots, files,
applications for ballots and envelopes on which the executed
declarations appear and all information and lists are designated
and declared to be public records and shall be safely kept for a
period of two years, except that no proof of identification
shall be made public, nor shall information concerning a
military elector be made public which is expressly forbidden by
the Department of Defense because of military security.
(b) Record.--For each election, the county board shall
maintain a record of the following information, if applicable,
for each elector who makes application for a mail-in ballot:
(1) The elector's name and voter registration address.
(2) The date on which the elector's application is
received by the county board.
(3) The date on which the elector's application is
approved or rejected by the county board.
(4) The date on which the county board mails or delivers
the mail-in ballot to the elector.
(5) The date on which the elector's completed mail-in
ballot is received by the county board.
(c) Compilation.--The county board shall compile the records
listed under subsection (b) and make the records publicly
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available upon request within 48 hours of the request.]
Section 10. Section 1853 of the act, amended March 27, 2020
(P.L.41, No.12), is amended to read:
Section 1853. Violations of Provisions Relating to Absentee
[and Mail-in Ballots].--If any person shall sign an application
for absentee ballot, [mail-in ballot] or declaration of elector
on the forms prescribed knowing any matter declared therein to
be false, or shall vote any ballot other than one properly
issued to the person, or vote or attempt to vote more than once
in any election for which an absentee ballot [or mail-in ballot]
shall have been issued to the person, or shall violate any other
provisions of Article XIII [or Article XIII-D] of this act, the
person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree,
and, upon conviction, shall be sentenced to pay a fine not
exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or be
imprisoned for a term not exceeding two (2) years, or both, at
the discretion of the court.
If any chief clerk or member of a board of elections, member
of a return board or member of a board of registration
commissioners, shall neglect or refuse to perform any of the
duties prescribed by Article XIII [or Article XIII-D] of this
act, or shall reveal or divulge any of the details of any ballot
cast in accordance with the provisions of Article XIII [or
Article XIII-D] of this act, or shall count an absentee ballot
[or mail-in ballot] knowing the same to be contrary to Article
XIII [or Article XIII-D], or shall reject an absentee ballot [or
mail-in ballot] without reason to believe that the same is
contrary to Article XIII [or Article XIII-D], or shall permit an
elector to cast the elector's ballot at a polling place knowing
that there has been issued to the elector an absentee ballot,
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the elector shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree,
and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding
fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000), or be imprisoned for a term
not exceeding seven (7) years, or both, at the discretion of the
court.
Section 11. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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