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A01834
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
1300
Session of
2021
INTRODUCED BY GROVE, RYAN, E. NELSON, ORTITAY, SCHEMEL, LEWIS,
WHEELAND, OWLETT AND R. MACKENZIE, JUNE 10, 2021
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON STATE GOVERNMENT, JUNE 10, 2021
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," as follows:
in preliminary provisions, further providing for definitions,
providing for legislative authority over elections,
establishing the Bureau of Election Audits and providing for
special standing in challenges to the Election Code;
in the Secretary of the Commonwealth, further providing for
powers and duties of the Secretary of the Commonwealth and
providing for reports on implementation of elections;
in county boards of elections, further providing for powers and
duties of county boards and providing for county boards of
elections and satellite offices;
in district election officers, further providing for
compensation of district election officers;
providing for registration of electors;
in ballots, further providing for form of official election
ballot and for number of ballots to be printed and specimen
ballots;
in voting machines, further providing for examination and
approval of voting machines by the Secretary of the
Commonwealth, for requirements of voting machines, for
preparation of voting machines by county election boards and
for delivery of voting machines and supplies by county
election boards to election officers;
in electronic voting systems, further providing for statistical
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sample and providing for requirements of accessible voting
machines;
in voting apparatus bonds, providing for voting system defects,
disclosure, investigations and penalties;
in preparation for and conduct of primaries and elections,
providing for voter's bill of rights, for senior voter's bill
of rights, for disabled voter's bill of rights and further
providing for time for opening and closing polls, for manner
of applying to vote, persons entitled to vote, voter's
certificates, entries to be made in district register,
numbered lists of voters and challenges and for deadline for
receipt of valid voter registration application;
in voting by qualified absentee electors, further providing for
applications for official absentee ballots, for date of
application for absentee ballot, for delivering or mailing
ballots, for voting by absentee electors, providing for
supervised voting by qualified absentee electors in certain
facilities and further providing for canvassing of official
absentee ballots and mail-in ballots;
in voting by qualified mail-in electors, further providing for
applications for official mail-in ballots, for date of
application for mail-in ballot, for delivering or mailing
ballots and for voting by mail-in electors;
in Pennsylvania Election Law Advisory Board, further providing
for Pennsylvania Election Law Advisory Board;
providing for early voting by qualified electors;
in returns of primaries and elections, further providing for
returns to be open to public inspection and exceptions and
for computation of returns by county board, certification and
issuance of certificates of election;
in recounts and contest, providing for powers and duties of the
Attorney General relating to elections;
in penalties, further providing for disobeying lawful
instructions, for perjury, for false affidavits of
candidates, for refusal to permit inspection of papers,
destruction or removal and Secretary of the Commonwealth, for
refusal to permit inspection of papers, destruction or
removal and county boards of elections, for insertion and
alteration of entries in documents, removal and refusal to
deliver, for refusal to permit overseers, watchers, attorneys
or candidates to act, for driving away watchers, attorneys,
candidates or overseers, for refusal to permit election
officers, clerks and machine inspectors to act and driving
away said persons, for refusal to administer oath and acting
without being sworn, for violation of oath of office by
election officers, for peace officers, failure to render
assistance and hindering or delaying county board members and
others, for nomination petitions and papers and offenses by
signers, for false signatures and statements in nomination
petitions and papers, for nomination petitions, certificates
and papers, destruction, fraudulent filing and suppression,
for offenses by printers of ballots, for unlawful possession
of ballots and counterfeiting ballots, for forging and
destroying ballots, for tampering with voting machines, for
destroying, defacing or removing notices, et cetera, for
police officers at polling places and for peace officer,
failure to quell disturbances at polls, hindering or delaying
election officers and others, for election officers
permitting unregistered electors to vote, challenges and
refusing to permit qualified electors to vote, for election
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officers refusing to permit elector to vote in proper party
at primaries, for frauds by election officers, for prying
into ballots, for interference with primaries and elections,
frauds and conspiracy, for persons interfering in other
districts, for assault and battery at polls, for unlawful
assistance in voting, for election officers permitting
unlawful assistance, for failure to keep and return record of
assisted voters, for unlawful voting, for elector voting
ballot of wrong party at primary, for repeat voting at
elections, for removing ballots, for commissioners to take
soldiers' votes, for fraudulent voting by soldiers, for
bribery at elections, for receipts and disbursements of
primary and election expenses by persons other than
candidates and treasurers, for receipts of primary and
election expenses by unauthorized persons, for contributions
by corporations or unincorporated associations, for failure
to file expense account, for prohibiting duress and
intimidation of voters and interference with the free
exercise of the elective franchise, for failure to perform
duty, for hindering or delaying performance of duty, for
violation of any provision of act, for violations of
provisions relating to absentee and mail-in ballots and
providing for unlawful collection of ballots;
providing for reimbursements and withholding; and
making a related repeal.
in the Secretary of the Commonwealth, further providing for
powers and duties of the Secretary of the Commonwealth and
providing for reports on implementation of elections;
in county boards of elections, further providing for powers and
duties of county boards and providing for county boards of
elections and ballot return sites;
in district election officers, further providing for
compensation of district election officers;
in ballots, further providing for form of official election
ballot and for number of ballots to be printed and specimen
ballots;
in voting machines, further providing for examination and
approval of voting machines by the Secretary of the
Commonwealth, for requirements of voting machines, for
preparation of voting machines by county election boards and
for delivery of voting machines and supplies by county
election boards to election officers;
in electronic voting systems, further providing for statistical
sample and providing for requirements of accessible voting
machines;
in voting apparatus bonds, providing for voting system defects,
disclosure, investigations and penalties;
in preparation for and conduct of primaries and elections,
providing for voter's bill of rights, for senior voter's bill
of rights and for disabled voter's bill of rights and further
providing for time for opening and closing polls and for
manner of applying to vote, persons entitled to vote, voter's
certificates, entries to be made in district register,
numbered lists of voters and challenges;
in voting by qualified absentee electors, further providing for
applications for official absentee ballots and for voting by
absentee electors, providing for supervised voting by
qualified absentee electors in certain facilities and further
providing for canvassing of official absentee ballots and
mail-in ballots;
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in voting by qualified mail-in electors, further providing for
applications for official mail-in ballots and for voting by
mail-in electors;
providing for early voting by qualified electors;
in returns of primaries and elections, further providing for
computation of returns by county board, certification and
issuance of certificates of election;
in penalties, further providing for disobeying lawful
instructions, for perjury, for false affidavits of
candidates, for refusal to permit inspection of papers,
destruction or removal and Secretary of the Commonwealth, for
refusal to permit inspection of papers, destruction or
removal and county boards of elections, for insertion and
alteration of entries in documents, removal and refusal to
deliver, for refusal to permit overseers, watchers, attorneys
or candidates to act, for driving away watchers, attorneys,
candidates or overseers, for refusal to permit election
officers, clerks and machine inspectors to act and driving
away said persons, for refusal to administer oath and acting
without being sworn, for violation of oath of office by
election officers, for peace officers, failure to render
assistance and hindering or delaying county board members and
others, for nomination petitions and papers and offenses by
signers, for false signatures and statements in nomination
petitions and papers, for nomination petitions, certificates
and papers, destruction, fraudulent filing and suppression,
for offenses by printers of ballots, for unlawful possession
of ballots and counterfeiting ballots, for forging and
destroying ballots, for tampering with voting machines, for
destroying, defacing or removing notices, et cetera, for
police officers at polling places, for peace officer, failure
to quell disturbances at polls, hindering or delaying
election officers and others, for election officers
permitting unregistered electors to vote, challenges and
refusing to permit qualified electors to vote, for election
officers refusing to permit elector to vote in proper party
at primaries, for frauds by election officers, for prying
into ballots, for interference with primaries and elections,
frauds and conspiracy, for persons interfering in other
districts, for assault and battery at polls, for unlawful
assistance in voting, for election officers permitting
unlawful assistance, for failure to keep and return record of
assisted voters, for unlawful voting, for elector voting
ballot of wrong party at primary, for repeat voting at
elections, for removing ballots, for commissioners to take
soldiers' votes, for fraudulent voting by soldiers, for
bribery at elections, for receipts and disbursements of
primary and election expenses by persons other than
candidates and treasurers, for receipts of primary and
election expenses by unauthorized persons, for contributions
by corporations or unincorporated associations, for failure
to file expense account, for prohibiting duress and
intimidation of voters and interference with the free
exercise of the elective franchise, for failure to perform
duty, for hindering or delaying performance of duty, for
violation of any provision of act and for violations of
provisions relating to absentee and mail-in ballots and
providing for unlawful collection of ballots; and
providing for reimbursements.
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The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Section 102(e), (n), (p), (r), (s), (t), (z-1),
(z.4) and (z.5) of the act of June 3, 1937 (P.L.1333, No.320),
known as the Pennsylvania Election Code, are amended and the
section is amended by adding subsections 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:
* * *
(e) [The] Except as provided in section 700-A, the words
"district register" shall mean the [cards] electronic poll book
containing all or any part of the registry list of qualified
electors of the same election district, as prepared by the
registration commissions.
* * *
(n) [The] Except as provided in section 700-A, the word
"party" shall mean a political party, as defined in section 801
of this act.
* * *
(p) [The] Except as provided in section 700-A, the words
"political body" shall mean an independent body of electors, as
defined in section 801 of this act.
* * *
(r) [The] Except as provided in section 700-A, the words
"primary" or "primary election" shall mean any election held for
the purpose of electing party officers and nominating candidates
for public offices to be voted for at an election.
* * *
(s) [The] Except as provided in section 700-A, the words
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"public office" shall include every public office to which
persons can be elected by a vote of the electors under the laws
of this State.
(t) [The] Except as provided in section 700-A, the words
"qualified elector" shall mean any person who shall possess all
of the qualifications for voting now or hereafter prescribed by
the Constitution of this Commonwealth, or who, being otherwise
qualified by continued residence in his election district, shall
obtain such qualifications before the next ensuing election.
* * *
(z-1) [The] Except as provided in section 700-A, the words
"in military service" shall mean the uniformed services as
defined in section 102 of the Career Compensation Act of 1949
(63 Stat. 804 U.S. Code, Title 37, Par. 231).
* * *
(z.4) [The] Except as provided in section 700-A, the word
"municipality" shall mean a city, borough, incorporated town,
township or any similar general purpose unit of government which
may be created by the General Assembly.
(z.5) The words "proof of identification" shall mean:
[(1) In the case of an elector who has a religious objection
to being photographed, a valid-without-photo driver's license or
a valid-without-photo identification card issued by the
Department of Transportation.
(2) For an elector who appears to vote under section 1210, a
document that:
(i) shows the name of the individual to whom the document
was issued and the name substantially conforms to the name of
the individual as it appears in the district register;
(ii) shows a photograph of the individual to whom the
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document was issued;
(iii) includes an expiration date and is not expired,
except:
(A) for a document issued by the Department of
Transportation which is not more than twelve (12) months past
the expiration date; or
(B) in the case of a document from an agency of the Armed
forces of the United States or their reserve components,
including the Pennsylvania National Guard, establishing that the
elector is a current member of or a veteran of the United States
Armed Forces or National Guard which does not designate a
specific date on which the document expires, but includes a
designation that the expiration date is indefinite; and
(iv) was issued by one of the following:
(A) The United States Government.
(B) The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
(C) A municipality of this Commonwealth to an employee of
that municipality.
(D) An accredited Pennsylvania public or private institution
of higher learning.
(E) A Pennsylvania care facility.
(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
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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).]
(1) In the case of any elector, at least one of the
following:
(i) the elector's driver's license;
(ii) in the case of an elector who has a religious objection
to being photographed, a copy of a valid-without-photo driver's
license or a valid-without-photo identification card issued by
the Department of Transportation;
(iii) the elector's voter registration card with scannable
identification number and a copy of the elector's signature, as
issued by a county under section 302;
(iv) a document from an agency of the armed forces of the
United States or their reserve components, including the
Pennsylvania National Guard, establishing that the elector is a
current member of or a veteran of the United States Armed Forces
or National Guard which does not designate a specific date on
which the document expires, but includes a designation that that
expiration date is indefinite;
(v) a document issued by the secretary under section 201(n);
(vi) an affidavit provided to an elector by elections
officers, on which the elector shall affirm his or her identity,
including his or her signature and the last four digits of his
or her Social Security number. The affidavit shall include
disclosure of the penalties under section 1802; or
(vii) a document that shows the name and photograph of the
individual to whom the document was issued, includes an
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expiration date and is not expired and is issued by one of the
following:
(A) The United States Government.
(B) The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
(C) A municipality of this Commonwealth to an employe of
that municipality.
(D) An accredited public or private institution of higher
learning located in this Commonwealth.
(E) A care facility located in this Commonwealth.
(2) (Reserved).
* * *
(z.7) The words "ballot comparison risk-limiting audit"
shall mean a statistical audit that compares the interpretation
of individual ballots according to the voting system to a human
interpretation of the same individual ballots.
(z.8) The words "risk limit" shall mean the maximum chance
that an audit will not progress to a full hand recount if the
voting system record is incorrect.
(z.9) The words "ballot-polling risk-limiting audit" shall
mean a statistical audit that selects ballots at random and
interprets the ballots by hand until there is strong evidence
that the recorded outcome in an election is correct, or until
all the votes have been counted by hand.
Section 2. The act is amended by adding sections to read:
Section 107. Legislative Authority Over Elections.--Article
I, section 5 of the Constitution of the United States and
Article VII of the Constitution of Pennsylvania vest authority
for prescribing election law in the General Assembly.
Section 108. Bureau of Election Audits.--(a) The Bureau of
Election Audits is established in the Department of the Auditor
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General. The Bureau of Election Audits shall have subpoena power
to request from the department or a county any documents,
records, papers, data, ballots, election materials or testimony
necessary for the efficient completion of the audits required
under this section.
(b) The Auditor General shall conduct independent election
audits in accordance with generally accepted governmental audit
standards (GAGAS) and appropriate Service Organization Control
standards and shall ensure that the audit methodology will
verify the accuracy of the election and the accuracy of
election equipment used.
(c) If the Auditor General is on the ballot, the Auditor
General shall appoint an independent special auditor who shall
be a licensed certified public accountant and shall have
experience in completing election audits to oversee the
operation of the Bureau of Election Audits.
(d) The Bureau of Election Audits shall ensure continuous
improvement of the election audits required under this section
to ensure the accuracy of election results and compliance with
Federal and State laws.
(e) The duties of the Bureau of Election Audits shall
include:
(1) To conduct result-confirming audits of each election in
this Commonwealth, completed by the third Friday following the
election. The audits shall include:
(i) A statistically sound, ballot-comparison risk-limiting
audit of ballots for each election, except for an election which
is uncontested, and except as provided in section 1117-A where a
ballot-polling audit shall be conducted.
(ii) An audit of election machine logs.
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(iii) An audit of the returned absentee and mail-in ballots
in each county, including a comparison of retained envelopes on
which the executed declarations appear, for mail-in and absentee
ballots, secrecy envelopes and the total number of absentee and
mail-in ballots canvassed.
(iv) An audit comparing each canvassed and retained paper
ballot in each county with the number of votes recorded.
(v) An audit of the pre-election testing of election
equipment conducted by each county.
(vi) Any other audit deemed necessary by the Bureau of
Election Audits to ensure public trust in the outcome of each
election.
(2) To conduct performance audits of the operations of
elections systems and processes at least once every five years.
The audits shall include:
(i) An audit of each county election office in the
Commonwealth.
(ii) An audit of the Department of State's election
equipment certification process.
(iii) An audit of the Statewide voter registration system,
including an audit of the accuracy of the list of registered
electors.
(iv) An audit of the Department of State's administration of
elections.
(v) Any other audit deemed necessary by the Bureau of
Election Audits to ensure public trust in the election
administration in this Commonwealth.
(3) To publicly post audit methodologies for each of the
audits required under this section, including on the Auditor
General's publicly accessible Internet website and the
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Department of State's publicly accessible Internet website.
(4) To publicly post the results of each audit required
under this section, including on the Auditor General's publicly
accessible Internet website, the Department of State's publicly
accessible Internet website and each county's publicly
accessible Internet website.
(5) To monitor corrective action plans developed by entities
audited under this section, ensuring that the corrective action
plan addresses deficiencies identified by an audit and that the
plan is successfully executed to remediate deficiencies.
(6) If a full manual recount of an election is undertaken,
the Bureau of Election audits shall not be required to perform
the audit required under paragraph (1)(i).
(f) The duties of the county board of elections shall
include:
(1) Cooperating with the Bureau of Election Audits to enable
efficient conduct of audits required under subsection (d).
(2) Cooperating with the Bureau of Election Audits to post
the results of audits conducted in that county as required under
subsection (e)(4).
(3) Holding a public meeting between the third Saturday
after an election and the fourth Thursday after an election, at
which the board shall make publicly available to the residents
of the county the results of audits conducted under subsection
(d).
(4) Submitting to the Department of State, along with the
certified results of the election, a report with the results of
the audits conducted under subsection (e)(3). The report shall
include the following:
(i) The overall accuracy of election results as confirmed by
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the audits under subsection (e)(3).
(ii) A description of any problem or discrepancies
encountered in the administration of the election.
(iii) The identified causes of any problems or
discrepancies.
(iv) Recommended corrective actions with respect to avoiding
or mitigating any problems or discrepancies in future elections.
(5) Developing a corrective action plan to address any
findings of error or deficiency within an audit conducted under
this section.
(g) The duties of the Department of State shall include:
(1) Cooperating with the Bureau of Election Audits to enable
efficient conduct of each audit required under subsection (e).
(2) Cooperating with the Bureau of Election Audits to post
the methodologies and results of audits conducted in this
Commonwealth as required under subsection (e)(3) and (4).
(3) To develop a corrective action plan to address any
findings of error or deficiency within an audit conducted under
this section.
Section 109. Special Standing in Challenges to the Election
Code.--(a) In a judicial proceeding in which all or part of
this act is alleged to be unconstitutional, either or both
chambers of the General Assembly, subject to subsection (b),
shall have special standing to intervene as a party in the
action and to defend the act.
(b) The following shall apply:
(1) Special standing to intervene as a party under
subsection (a) for the Senate shall require an action of the
Senate Subcommittee on Management Operation as provided under
section 2.1 of the act of January 10, 1968 (1967 P.L.925,
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No.417), referred to as the Legislative Officers and Employes
Law.
(2) Special standing to intervene as a party under
subsection (a) for the House of Representatives shall require an
action of the Bi-partisan Management Committee as provided under
section 21.1 of the Legislative Officers and Employes Law.
(c) Intervention by either or both chambers of the General
Assembly under this section shall not constitute a waiver of
sovereign immunity, legislative privilege or other privilege or
immunity.
(d) This section shall not make either or both chambers of
the General Assembly a necessary or indispensable party to an
action. A party to an action may not name either or both
chambers of the General Assembly as a party or move to join
either or both chambers of the General Assembly as a party based
on this section.
(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the
standing of either or both chambers or an individual member of
the General Assembly in a judicial proceeding in which the
subject matter relates to specific powers unique to a
legislator's functions under the Constitution of Pennsylvania
being diminished or impaired.
Section 3. Section 201 of the act is amended to read:
Section 201. Powers and Duties of the Secretary of the
Commonwealth.--The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall exercise
in the manner provided by this act all powers granted to him by
this act, and shall perform all the duties imposed upon him by
this act, which shall include the following:
(a) To determine, in accordance with the provisions of this
act, the forms of nomination petitions and papers, expense
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accounts and all other forms and records, the form of which he
is required to determine under the provisions of this act.
(b) To examine and reexamine voting machines, and to approve
or disapprove them for use in this State, in accordance with the
provisions of this act. The secretary shall not approve any
voting machine for any election, Federal or State, in this
Commonwealth, that does not comply with the requirements of
section 301 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (Public Law
107-252, 42 U.S.C. § 15481).
(c) To certify to county boards of elections for primaries
and elections the names of the candidates for President and
Vice-President of the United States, presidential electors,
United States senators, representatives in Congress and all
State offices, including senators, representatives, and judges
of all courts of record, and delegates and alternate delegates
to National Conventions, and members of State committees, and
the form and wording of constitutional amendments or other
questions to be submitted to the electors of the State at large.
(d) To receive and determine, as hereinafter provided, the
sufficiency of nomination petitions, certificates and papers of
candidates for President of the United States, presidential
electors, United States senators, representatives in Congress
and all State offices, including senators, representatives and
judges of all courts of record, and delegates and alternate
delegates to National Conventions and members of State
committees.
(e) To receive such reports from county boards of elections
as are required by this act, and to demand such additional
reports on special matters as he may deem necessary.
(e.1) To receive from county boards of elections information
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on voting system errors or difficulties or other election data
pursuant to regulation.
(f) To receive from county boards of elections the returns
of primaries and elections, to canvass and compute the votes
cast for candidates and upon questions as required by the
provisions of this act; to proclaim the results of such
primaries and elections, within three days after receipt of
returns from all counties and to issue certificates of election
to the successful candidates at such elections, except in cases
where that duty is imposed by law on another officer or board.
[(f.1) To develop a voluntary professional certification and
poll worker training program for county election officials in
consultation with county boards of elections.]
(f.2) To order a county board to conduct a recount or
recanvass of an election under section 1404 for a public office
which appears on the ballot in every election district in this
Commonwealth or for a ballot question which appears on the
ballot in every election district in this Commonwealth.
(g) To perform only such other duties relating to elections
as [may be prescribed by law.] authorized by this act or by 25
Pa.C.S. (relating to elections).
(h) To establish a system for the remedy of complaints
regarding the administration of the provisions of Title III of
the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-252, 42 U.S.C.
§ 15481 et seq.).
(i) To obtain and maintain uniformity in the interpretation
and implementation of election laws.
(j) To provide uniform standards for the proper, accurate
and uniform implementation of voter registration laws and
records.
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(k) To actively seek out and collect the data and statistics
necessary to knowledgeably scrutinize the effectiveness of
election laws.
(l) To provide technical assistance to election directors.
(m) To maintain a voter fraud hotline and provide election
fraud education to the public.
(n) To provide to any registered elector upon request, and
free of charge, a durable photo identification card which may be
used for the purposes of voting.
(o) To publish by December 31 of each odd-numbered year the
official instructions and procedures manual prescribed by the
Pennsylvania Election Law Advisory Board.
(p) To receive any private donations intended to contribute
to election administration or voter education in this
Commonwealth, and to distribute the funds, or any public funds
used for the purposes of voter education, equally across this
Commonwealth based upon the most recent census estimate of
citizen voting age population. A distribution of private funds
must be approved by the Election Law Advisory Board.
(q) To maintain a publicly accessible Internet website using
a .gov domain name, on which the secretary shall post
information required by this act. The website shall additionally
adhere to generally accepted accessibility standards, including
compatibility with screen reading software.
(r) To retain and make publicly available any communications
relating to election administration and sent between the
department and at least three county election directors.
(s) To develop a uniform application for registered electors
to update their signature of record or to provide a medical
doctor's assessment of signature inconsistency due to a medical
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