Statement of Micah Sims, Executive Director of Common Cause Pennsylvania
This funding is essential in helping to ensure secure and accurate elections here in Pennsylvania. Common Cause Pennsylvania, along with several key coalition partners, worked diligently and tirelessly throughout the legislative session to gain support from legislators, stakeholders and citizens, imploring them on the monumental importance of acquiring new machines for our future elections.
Today, Governor Tom Wolf has initiated a plan, issuing bonds for $90 million dollars, to fulfill his commitment in the purchasing of new voting machines for our sixty-seven counties. This plan would also offer counties that use older models of hand-marked paper ballot voting systems an opportunity to request an extension to select a new voting infrastructure.
This instrumental investment in voting modernization will help improve voter confidence and engagement throughout the commonwealth on every election day. We are soliciting support from legislators, county commissioners, election administrators and stakeholders to move voting modernization and secure elections forward in Pennsylvania.
While this is a great step forward, it’s just a step. Pennsylvania has a long way to go in terms of implementing real election reform. We will continue to work with the Governor’s Office and the General Assembly on passing substantial voting reform and modernization legislation, no excuse absentee ballot reform and automatic voter registration. We look forward to continuing these conversations and moving Pennsylvania voter law into the 21st century.