Boyle seeks to reform special election procedures in Pa.

HARRISBURG, Jan. 8 – Following the announcement of the date for special elections to fill three House vacancies, state Rep. Kevin Boyle announced he will be introducing legislation to regulate when these elections could be held in the future to save Pennsylvania taxpayers money.

“Special elections have been scheduled for March 17 when the April 28 primary is only a little more than a month away. These special elections will cost Pennsylvania taxpayers more than $1 million in added elections costs,” said Boyle, D-Phila./Montgomery. 

On Tuesday, Speaker Mike Turzai announced the March date for the special elections to fill vacancies in the 8th, 18th, and 58th legislative districts. The speaker’s decision will inconvenience voters and election workers in Mercer, Butler, Bucks and Westmoreland counties.

“Not only are these special elections a financial burden, but our counties are dealing with changes to new voting laws and voting machines. Our already overburdened county election workers should be concentrating on ensuring voters are educated on the new laws and new voting machines so they can make secure, informed decisions at the polls,” Boyle said.

He added that he has introduced legislation that would require special elections to fill vacant seats in the House or the Senate to be held in conjunction with the next regularly scheduled general or primary election day.

“As the Democratic chair of the State Government Committee, it is my responsibility to put the best interests of the people of Pennsylvania first. Special elections are fiscally irresponsible for the state. While I understand Speaker Turzai’s desire to provide representation as soon as possible for these districts with vacancies, we need to recognize that the repercussions of these actions will impact every taxpayer in the commonwealth,” Boyle said.

A fourth vacancy, in Philadelphia’s 190th House District, already was scheduled to be filled with a Feb. 25 special election.