Other states allow voters to register online, permit pre-Election Day voting, and provide for no-excuse absentee ballots. Pennsylvania allows none of those but that efforts are afoot that could change that as soon as this summer. Acting Secretary of State Pedro Cortes told the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday the administration will be in a position to roll out some form of online voter registration within four months “if it meets with your approval.” According to Pew Charitable Trust, 20 states have online voter registration systems and four others have passed legislation to authorize it as a more convenient way to get more people on the state voter rolls.
Cortes told lawmakers that he is embarrassed when he goes to national gatherings of state election officials by Pennsylvania’s backwardness when it comes to the way it conducts its electoral process.
Considering all the reforms other states have put in place and given today’s technology, he said afterward, “I think that most observers would agree that we are not as progressive as other states.”
But his statement about being in a position to move forward with online registration prompted Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler, to ask where the administration believes it gets the authority to do that.