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PRINTER'S NO. 3340
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
2719
Session of
2022
INTRODUCED BY RABB, BULLOCK, DAWKINS, KRAJEWSKI, DELLOSO,
PARKER, SANCHEZ AND SIMS, JUNE 30, 2022
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON STATE GOVERNMENT, JUNE 30, 2022
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," in preliminary provisions, further providing for
definitions; in voting by qualified absentee electors,
further providing for qualified absentee electors and
providing for voting by absentee electors in correctional
institutions; and imposing duties on the Department of State.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Section 102(w)(14) and last paragraph of the act
of June 3, 1937 (P.L.1333, No.320), known as the Pennsylvania
Election Code, are amended, the subsection is amended by adding
a paragraph and the section is amended by adding a subsection to
read:
Section 102. Definitions.--The following words, when used in
this act, shall have the following meanings, unless otherwise
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clearly apparent from the context:
* * *
(w) The words "qualified absentee elector" shall mean:
* * *
(14) Any qualified elector who will not attend a polling
place because of the observance of a religious holiday[:]; or
(15) Any qualified elector who is confined in a correctional
institution:
Provided, however, That the words "qualified absentee
elector" shall in nowise be construed to include persons
confined in [a penal institution or] a mental institution nor
shall it in anywise be construed to include a person not
otherwise qualified as a qualified elector in accordance with
the definition set forth in section 102(t) of this act.
* * *
(z.7) The words "correctional institution" shall mean any
penal institution, penitentiary, State farm, reformatory,
prison, jail, house of correction or other institution for the
incarceration or custody of persons under sentence for offenses
or awaiting trial or sentence for offenses.
Section 2. Section 1301(n) and last paragraph of the act are
amended and the section is amended by adding a subsection to
read:
Section 1301. Qualified Absentee Electors.--The following
persons shall be entitled to vote by an official absentee ballot
in any primary or election held in this Commonwealth in the
manner hereinafter provided:
* * *
(n) Any qualified elector who will not attend a polling
place because of the observance of a religious holiday[:]; or
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(o) Any qualified elector who is confined in a correctional
institution:
Provided, however, That the words "qualified absentee
elector" shall in nowise be construed to include persons
confined in [a penal institution or] a mental institution nor
shall it in anywise be construed to include a person not
otherwise qualified as a qualified elector in accordance with
the definition set forth in section 102(t) of this act.
Section 3. The act is amended by adding a section to read:
Section 1306.2. Voting by Absentee Electors in Correctional
Institutions.--(a) The department shall establish a uniform
policy for civic education in State and county correctional
institutions, including, but not limited to, nonpartisan voting
guides and notifications of all Federal, State, county and local
elections. The department shall provide correctional
institutions with:
(1) information pertaining to voter registration, absentee
ballots and eligibility requirements;
(2) the necessary forms and applications; and
(3) the necessary training.
(b) The department shall require a correctional institution
to designate at least one individual to help inmates vote. The
designated individuals in each correctional institution shall
provide the information under subsection (a) to each inmate upon
intake and oversee the distribution, collection and submission
of voter registration applications and absentee ballots.
(c) The superintendent, warden or other authorized
individual in charge of a State or county correctional
institution shall collect data that includes, but is not limited
to, the following:
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(1) demographic information;
(2) the number of qualified absentee electors in the
correctional institution;
(3) the number of inmates registered to vote;
(4) the number of inmates that have applied for a ballot;
(5) the number of inmates that submitted a completed ballot;
and
(6) any other information requested by the department.
(d) The superintendent, warden or other authorized
individual in charge of a State or county correctional
institution shall submit a report of the data collected under
subsection (c) to the department within thirty (30) days after
the general election. The department shall determine the form of
the report and shall promulgate guidelines to implement the
provisions of this section.
(e) As used in this section:
"Department" shall mean the Department of State of the
Commonwealth.
"Inmate" shall mean an offender who is committed to, under
sentence to or confined in a correctional institution.
Section 4. This act shall take effect immediately.
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