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Pennsylvania House Passes Bill to Extend Pre-Canvassing Period

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives narrowly approved a bill in a heated session that sought to prolong the pre-canvassing period for ballots—a procedure that is already illegal in the state.

Pre-canvassing proponents contend that speedier election results would result from giving counties more time to prepare and review ballots prior to Election Day. As of right now, Pennsylvania poll workers are not allowed to begin the pre-canvassing process until seven in the morning on election day.

Only after the polls close at 8 p.m. can the votes begin to be counted, and it must go on until every vote is tallied.

The plan, which was approved in spite of 99 Republican legislators’ objections, would increase the pre-canvassing period to seven days before to the election. The extension, according to the bill’s opponents, might cause a few days’ delay in the announcement of election results and damage public confidence in the democratic process.

One of the bill’s opponents, Representative Brad Roae, emphasized the possibility of additional delays if counties decide to wait until after Election Day to handle mail-in votes. In order to preserve the integrity of the democratic process, he underlined how crucial it is to guarantee prompt and definitive election results.

On the other hand, supporters of the bill, like Representative Steve Samuelson, say that giving counties more time to process ballots is essential to accelerating the election process. They contend that this strategy is in line with the pragmatic demands made by county authorities to improve ballot tabulation accuracy and efficiency.

State Secretary Al Schmidt highlighted the lengthy process of processing ballots during a budget hearing in March. He also mentioned the difficulties poll workers encounter in managing the volume of ballots within the allotted time.

He emphasized how important it is to give counties enough resources and assistance in order to reduce errors and expedite the voting process.

The passing of this legislation is a reflection of continuous efforts to improve Pennsylvania’s election processes and solve practical issues, with an emphasis on guaranteeing impartial, fast, and transparent election results.

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