Bolstering election integrity is key to preserving security and faith in Pennsylvania elections. This comprehensive bill tightens election security, expands voter access, and creates transparency in the election process.
Confidence in a secure election is essential for voters to know that their vote counts. Currently, in Pennsylvania, only voters visiting their polling location for the first time must show identification; this bill would expand the requirement to all Pennsylvania voters. Additionally, this bill strengthens signature requirements on mail-in ballots. Signature verification will include artificial intelligence assistance, and ballot return locations will have security measures such as bipartisan staffing of judges of elections and video surveillance.
This bill also protects access to voting in Pennsylvania and establishes a Voter’s Bill of Rights, Senior Voter’s Bill of Rights, and Disabled Voter’s Bill of Rights. Each of these documents must be posted at every polling location in the commonwealth. In addition, no voter in Pennsylvania should have to wait more than 30 minutes to cast a ballot; in cases where this occurs, polling locations will be required to report it and work to rectify the issue.
To best preserve election integrity and voter confidence, this legislation ensures that the election system is open and transparent. One such reform is creating a publicly available election return website that tracks the number of ballots cast, by what method, and the percentage of voting districts having been reported.
Notably, this legislation also establishes the Bureau of Election Audits within the office of the Auditor-General. Once all the ballots have been cast, the Bureau of Election Audits will be required to run both election-confirming audits and audits of the election administration process. In addition, the Bureau of Election Audits must publicly post not only results but the methodologies used once the audit is complete.
Preserving election integrity and the right to vote is a priority for Pennsylvanians. This bill is a significant measure to ensure voter confidence by increasing election security, voter access, and process transparency.
For these reasons, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to support the Voting Rights Protection Act, H.B. 1300, to protect voting in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks