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Democrats Propel Election Bill Forward in Pennsylvania, Aimed at Streamlining Ballot Processing

Recently, the House of Representatives in Pennsylvania passed a major provision that would help counties effectively handle the flood of mail-in ballots that are received during elections, especially in the vital battleground state’s presidential campaigns.

Republicans opposed the proposal, which was passed along party lines, allowing county election officials to begin processing ballots up to seven days prior to Election Day.

This bill responds to a long-standing request from counties—which dates back before the 2020 presidential election—to provide them additional time to process mail-in ballots and lessen the burden of counting ballots after the election.

Pennsylvania does not currently have provisions in place to process mail-in ballots prior to Election Day, unlike the majority of states.

The Pennsylvania County Commissioners Association has endorsed the bill, pointing out that precanvassing increases election administration effectiveness without sacrificing security.

The executive director of the group, Lisa Schaefer, pleaded with the Republican-controlled Senate to move the bill quickly to Governor Josh Shapiro’s desk so that it can be put into effect before the next general election.

But Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman, a member of the Republican Party, has stressed that any law pertaining to election administration must be accompanied with stricter voter identification requirements.

Democrats have resisted the implementation of tougher voter ID laws, claiming that there are few cases of in-person voter fraud and that the rules could deny voting rights to eligible individuals.

During the 2020 presidential election, Pennsylvania’s election procedures came under increased scrutiny due to the protracted ballot counting process.

After several days of tallying mail-in votes, the state officially recognized Joe Biden’s victory, despite the unfounded accusations and conspiracy theories made by former President Donald Trump and his allies.

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