Rabb highlights special election reform legislation ahead of Tuesday’s election

HARRISBURG, Feb. 7 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., is highlighting special election-related legislation ahead of Tuesday’s Pennsylvania House of Representatives special election in Bucks County.

“The process by which we elect people in special elections is as important as regularly scheduled elections. That is why I have reintroduced legislation to modernize the process,” Rabb said. “Tuesday’s special election will decide the fate of who will control the House of Representatives.”

Rabb said his legislation, H.B.1831, to modernize the special election process would ensure special elections are timely, cost effective and accessible by requiring that special elections happen sooner when a seat becomes vacant more than 90 days before the next election; requiring automatic mail-in voting for all elections while providing county boards of election the option to establish satellite voting sites; subsidizing special elections from restitution paid by elected officials who have vacated their seats because of a felony conviction; and allowing candidates to electronically obtain nomination petition signatures.

According to data from the Pennsylvania Department of State, the state spent almost $1 million on just five special elections in 2023.

“This large expense is unnecessary and does nothing to promote civic literacy or nonpartisan engagement in elections where so few voters come out to cast ballots. How our state runs special elections is deeply inequitable, inefficient and far too costly,” Rabb said.