Governor Wolf Signs Historic Voting Reform Package

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Common Cause Pennsylvania applauds Governor Wolf and the General Assembly on the passage of  SB421, a voting and election reform package that will improve the way Pennsylvanians participate in their democracy. In addition, the package also provides desperately needed funding for both voting machines and 2020 census outreach.

“This law is a win for Pennsylvania voters. It includes reforms that will make our elections more fair, secure, and accessible. From funding new voting machines and 2020 census outreach, to giving Pennsylvania citizens more options to make their voices heard by voting, this law will help build a stronger democracy,” said Micah Sims, Executive Director of Common Cause Pennsylvania.

We were honored to be included in talks and offer our insight on some of the key policy measures included in this bill. SB421 passed with bipartisan support because of multiple stakeholders’ willingness to work together and move Pennsylvania forward, including the efforts of our 36,000 members, “To consider this package happened because of a veto. Yes, it pushed stakeholders, elected officials and citizens to work harder, talk more and get something done for the betterment of voters and our commonwealth”, Sims said.

This legislation takes a giant step forward to provide Pennsylvania’s voters with the tools necessary to improve democracy and increase their access in every election. “Everywhere people reference 2020 as the biggest election in history, however I declare that every election is the biggest in history, let’s not push for an improved process and turnout in 2020, but every year and for every election. We now have some good reforms that will create greater engagement and participation. Today, voters in Pennsylvania won”, Sims added.

Thanks to the passage of this amazing reform, Pennsylvanian’s will now benefit from the following:

  • Vote-By-Mail. All Pennsylvanians will now have the opportunity to cast their vote at home and mail in their ballot.
  • $90 million for new voting machines in every county to replace old outdated machines.
  • $4 million for the upcoming 2020 census. This will help ensure that everyone in Pennsylvania is counted.
  • More time to register to vote. Voters will now have until 15 days prior to the election to register.
  • More time to send in Absentee Ballots.

These updates provide our commonwealth with the foundation to continue moving our voting laws into the twenty-first century with improvements like automatic voter registration, early voting, open primaries and more.

Common Cause Pennsylvania believes in increasing access to democracy for all Pennsylvanians. Our work does not stop here. We will continue to push for reforms like these and ensure that all voices are heard, in each and every election cycle.