Boyle joins Wolf in calling for swift passage of legislation to ensure counties are prepared ahead of Nov. 3 general election
HARRISBURG, Sept. 15 – State Rep. Kevin Boyle, D-Phila./Montgomery, today joined Gov. Tom Wolf in urging swift action on legislation that would provide the support county election officials need to make sure Pennsylvanians can vote safely and have their ballots timely counted.
Boyle, Wolf and other public officials met in York today to outline the legislation the General Assembly should pass this month to improve the mail-in ballot process ahead of the Nov. 3 general election and give county officials the time they need to count ballots and return election results quickly.
“The House State Government Committee is planning to meet this Wednesday to discuss legislation related to the election code. We have an opportunity in committee this week to make vital, time sensitive changes to allow counties more time to pre-canvass mail ballots so they can return election results timely on Election Day,” said Boyle, who serves as Democratic chairman of the committee.
“Immediate action is needed to address the enormous volume of mail-in ballots expected to be cast. We need to ensure that Pennsylvania does not become a national embarrassment on Election Day.
“To that end, I am introducing several amendments this week during committee, to expand counties’ ability to pre-canvass mail-in ballots, and to expand county residents’ eligibility to serve as poll workers.”
Boyle said the committee is considering legislation this week (S.B. 178) that deals with the electronic filing of campaign finance reports. He is seeking to amend the bill to ensure what is needed for a fair, safe and efficient election for Pennsylvanians this fall. His amendments would:
- Give counties 14 days to pre-canvass mail-in and absentee ballots. Pre-canvassing, where the outside envelope is opened to determine the voter’s name, right now cannot begin until 7 a.m. on Election Day.
- Allow poll workers to be residents of the county, rather than requiring they be residents of the election district in which they vote. This would give counties more flexibility in recruiting and assigning poll workers. Poll worker recruitment has been difficult in recent years and was made worse by COVID-19.
Boyle is urging his Republican colleagues to approve his amendments and strive to put partisan politics aside when it comes to ensuring people’s fundamental right to vote.