Voting Reform Package Improves Access and Brings Election Codes into the Twenty-First Century
(Harrisburg, PA) October 24, 2019 – Common Cause Pennsylvania supports SB421, a voting and election reform package that would improve the way Pennsylvanians participate in their democracy while also delivering desperately needed funding to counties for voting machines. A bill greater than the sum of its parts.
We are encouraged by the progress being made in the legislature and the willingness to cross party lines in order to improve the process for everyone, “This package speaks to our need to bring voting and elections closer to the twenty-first century in Pennsylvania. I’m glad we had the opportunity to offer insight on key policy measures and building this as a bi-partisan package fueled by the executive, legislative, good government organizations and every day Pennsylvanians.,” said Micah Sims, Executive Director of Common Cause Pennsylvania.
This legislation also gave counties the support they needed to provide new, safe voting machines to their inhabitants, “As we approach another historic presidential election, Pennsylvanians must know that our systems are secure and positioned to be audited through paper ballot trails to ensure a fair election. It’s important for next year and every election after that.”, Sims said.
The package contains crucial updates to Pennsylvania’s antiquated voting laws that are imperative to moving our democracy forward including:
- $90 million for new voting machines
- $4 million for Census
- Vote by mail
- Extension to absentee ballot deadlines
- Shortening the voter registration deadline from 30 days to 15 days prior to the election
These updates will not only bring us forward but will also set up future improvements to our democracy. Common Cause Pennsylvania believes in improvements like automatic voter registration, open primaries, and more. This package is an essential step forward, but we will ensure that this step will not end here. Pennsylvania must continue to increase access for future generations to come.
Funding for the upcoming 2020 Census included in this package will allow Pennsylvanians the representation and resources their communities deserve. Getting the next census count right is critical to making sure our government works for everyone — it will shape our nation’s democracy, public policy and economy for the next decade and now Pennsylvania will have the funds necessary to do this right.
2020 will be a critical year for Pennsylvania and this package recognizes the magnitude of what’s ahead. We will have a Presidential election with possibly the highest turnout we’ve ever seen, a Census where getting the count right will be more crucial than ever and an opportunity to bring this Commonwealth into the 21st century. Common Cause Pennsylvania is urging the legislature to bring this package to the Governor’s desk and improve democracy for voters across the Commonwealth.
Common Cause Pennsylvania is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with 36,000 members and followers working to create a more accountable, responsive, and transparent democracy in Pennsylvania. We are focused on fair elections and the fight against gerrymandering, as well as money in politics, voting rights, and other good government reforms. We are part of Common Cause, a nonpartisan, nonprofit democracy organization with over 1.2 million supporters and local organizations in 35 states.