Pennsylvanians would be allowed to vote by mail under a bill introduced on Tuesday by state Rep. Rob Matzie. “As elected representatives in state government, I believe it is our duty to find ways to make voting for our constituents easier, more accessible and more secure,” Matzie, D-16, Ambridge, said in a statement. “One of those ways, as other states have shown, is to allow any eligible voter to cast their ballot for any and every election by mail.” Under Matzie’s House Bill 1546, the Pennsylvania Department of State and county election boards would be directed to create a vote-by-mail system in which voters could make a one-time request for a mail-in ballot and be automatically sent one in subsequent elections. Matzie said 22 states allow “certain elections to be conducted by mail,” and three states — Oregon, Washington and Colorado — have only vote-by-mail systems with California slated to join them next year.
The legislation, which was sent to the House State Government Committee, is one of several bills meant to update and modernize the state’s voting system, Matzie noted. Other bills address early voting, same-day voter registration, allowing 16-year-olds to pre-register to vote and authorizing automatic registration when residents interact with state government, and upgrading and streamlining the voter registration process.
In fact, Democrats who have sponsored the bills held a news conference in Harrisburg on Tuesday to push for action on the proposed legislative pieces. One of those arguing for action was state Rep. Pam Snyder, D-Greene County, whose House Bill 75 to allow early voting and no-excuse absentee voting has been sitting in the State Government Committee since Jan. 23.