Election Law and Election Security

Election Law and Election Security

Your Vote Counts Button

Election Law and Election Security

The League of Women Voters supports effective election laws that guarantee a citizen’s right to vote, ensure that elections are accessible, transparent, fair, and secure and promote universal voter participation.

Why it matters

The leaders we elect make decisions that affect our daily lives. Elections are our chance to stand up for what matters most to us and to have an impact on the issues that affect us, our communities, our families and our future. 

To ensure elections that empower voters the League of Women Voters in Pennsylvania served on the Blue Ribbon Commission on Pennsylvania’s Election Security, which released its report in January 2019, advocated for election reform legislation which is now law. Act 77 signed into law October 31, 2019 is an historic bipartisan election reform bill that makes significant changes to Pennsylvania’s elections and allows more convenient and secure voting.

The PA Election Reform Act 77 of 2019 includes:

  1. Allows no-excuse mail-in voting: The law creates a new option to vote by mail without needing an excuse.

  1. Sets a 50-day mail-in voting period: Voters can request and submit their mail-in or absentee ballot up to 50 days before the election. That's the longest vote-by-mail period in the country.

  1. Establishes a permanent mail-in and absentee ballot list: Voters can request to receive applications for mail-in or absentee ballots for all primary, general and special elections held in a given year. Counties will mail applications to voters on the list by the first Monday of each February. Voters who return an application will receive ballots for each election scheduled through next February. Early in-person voting of mail-in and absentee ballots is possible at the county election bureau offices: Delaware County Election Bureau 201 W Front St, Media, PA 19063 (610) 891-4120

  1. Extends voter registration time: The deadline to register to vote is extended to 15 days before an election. Previously, it was 30 days before.

  1. Extends mail-in and absentee submission deadlines: Voters can submit mail-in or absentee ballots until 8 p.m. on Election Day. 

  2. Eliminates straight-party ticket voting. Voters will no longer be able to vote straight-party with one vote.

  1. Authorizes a $90 million bond for voting systems: The law allows for the bond to reimburse counties for up to 60 percent of their actual costs to replace voting systems. The new systems will have enhanced security to prevent hacking and produce an anonymous paper trail. NOTE: Delaware County voted to purchase the Hart Verity Voting Machine System.

  2. Link to Delaware County Board of Elections Act 77 Brochure: Click Here

Click Below to Watch the Video: PA Election Security


 

What we’re doing

Our League of Women Voters has worked closely with the Pennsylvania League to advocate for effective changes to our election law. Link to positions . We have also been heavily involved in conducting voter information sessions on showing Delaware County residents how to use the new Hart Verity voting machine system and to share the changes to Pennsylvania Election Law

Hart Verity Scanner Hart Verity Scanning ProcessHart Verity Flag Screen

The Hart Verity machine meets Pennsylvania certification standards because it allows: 

  1. Hand-marked, paper ballots that are readable by voters with no bar codes.

  2. Ballots that can be read and counted by an optical scanner and recounted by hand as needed.

  3. Accessibility for handicapped individuals to use a touch screen machine that provides a printed ballot that confirms their choices without a bar code and is read by an optical scanner. 

  4. Ability to continue voting in a power outage with a secure box into which voters can manually slide their ballots.

  5. Maximum security to protect our votes from hacking or other tampering.

  6. Simple mechanisms to open and close the machines as well as operate machines that will encourage people to work at the polls.

    1. Hart Verity Scanner demo video

    2. Hart Verity Touch Writer demo video

    3. Hart Verity Scan Demo & set up video for poll workers

    4. Hart BMD demo & set up video for poll workers 

 What can you do

Mail-in Ballot Pic

Link to Online Absentee or No Excuse Mail-in Ballot Application - Click Here

TIPS for Mail-in Ballot Application: You will need your PA Driver's License number or PA ID number and if known your polling location.  When you start the process for a Mail-in No Excuse ballot, you will encounter 3 questions that you will respond No to the questions.  This will allow you to apply for a No Excuse Application. See the questions below:

  • Are you a military or overseas civilian absentee voter? Answer No

  • Are you applying for a ballot because you are absent from your municipality for the  upcoming election? Answer No

  • Are you applying for a ballot for the upcoming election because you have an illness or physical disability? Answer No 

NOTE: If you do not have a PA Drivers License or PA ID you will need to use the paper version of the Mail-in Ballot Application where you can write in the last four digits of your Social Security Number Click Here for paper application

VotesPA Video - Mail-In Voting in Pennsylvania

 More You Can Do: 

 For additional information contact our League Member, maritagreen6 [at] gmail.com (Marita Green)

 

Citations: National League of Women Voters www.lwv.org/elections, PA League of Women Voters www.palwv.org, Votes PA www.votespa.com/Pages/default.aspx, The Brennan Center for Election Reform Research www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/agenda-election-reform

 

Issues: