Matzie bill would allow voting by mail in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, June 13 – Seeking to increase voter participation, cut election costs and reduce voter fraud, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, today introduced H.B. 1546, which would permit voting by mail.

Matzie said his bill was one of several proposed bills to bring Pennsylvania’s voting system into the 21st century. Under Matzie’s legislation, any eligible Pennsylvania voter would have the option of casting their ballot by mail.

“As elected representatives in state government, I believe it is our duty to find ways to make voting for our constituents easier, more accessible and more secure,” Matzie said. “One of those ways, as other states have shown, is to allow any eligible voter to cast their ballot for any and every election by mail.”

Matzie said the ability to vote is the most basic tenet of U.S. democracy – and access methods should change with the times to enable participation by the maximum number of eligible voters

“Currently, 22 states have provisions allowing certain elections to be conducted entirely by mail, and three of those states – Oregon, Washington and Colorado – hold all elections entirely by mail. California will begin holding all-mail elections in 2018,” Matzie said.

Matzie’s bill directs the Department of State and the commonwealth’s county election boards to establish a vote-by-mail system in Pennsylvania. Voters would only have to request a mail-in ballot once, and then would be sent ballots for every subsequent election unless they opted out.

The bill also calls for measures to monitor and ensure voter and ballot integrity, a thorough review and updating of voter rolls, and prescribes penalties for fraud.

Click here for photographs and here for video of Rep. Matzie speaking on his bill.