A growing number of states have updated their election laws to make the hub of the democratic process more convenient and voter-friendly, but so far Pennsylvania isn’t among them. Twenty-one states allow online voter registration and three others have passed similar laws that have yet to take effect. Thirty-six states permit all voters to cast ballots prior to Election Day and 10 allow voters to register and vote on the same day, all according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Those ideas and others were aired at recent legislative budget hearings. Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, promised during his campaign to push for election reforms and acting Secretary of State Pedro Cortes reiterated the administration’s willingness to work with legislators toward that goal.
Pennsylvania’s last major election-related development was the passage of one of the nation’s strictest voter-identification laws, which sought to require nearly all of the 8 million-plus voters to show photo ID at the polls. The 2012 law, passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature with no Democratic support, was struck down by a state judge last year and abandoned when then-Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican, decided not to appeal.