HARRISBURG – Two bills banning the private funding of elections and one requiring mail or absentee ballots be delivered to a county’s primary office were passed by the Senate State Government Committee after three recent public hearings reviewing the proposals, according to Senator David G. Argall (R-29), the chairman of the committee.
“Today, the State Government Committee took action to ensure future elections in Pennsylvania are not tainted by outside groups selectively funding election operations or by questions of drop box security,” said Senator Argall. “My hope is that the votes taken today will increase the faith of all Pennsylvanians in how our elections are conducted.”
The committee approved two bills to ban the private funding of elections that were focused on during two public hearings in the past week: Senate Bill 982, sponsored by Senator Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne) and Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York), and House Bill 2044, sponsored by Rep Eric Nelson (R-Westmoreland). The committee heard testimony that large urban and suburban Democratic counties received much more “dark money” per registered voter than rural Republican counties.
The committee also voted to approve Senate Bill 1200, sponsored by Senator Cris Dush (R-Jefferson), which would require that persons delivering mail-in ballots may only deliver such ballots at their county’s primary office. The committee previously heard testimony about activists visiting multiple drop boxes of the same day, contrary to state law. Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin recently said that there were hundreds of cases where people deposited more than one ballot into drop boxes in 2021.
All three bills now advance to the Senate for its consideration.
Contact: Jim Brugger