Pennsylvania House Republicans Pass a Mostly Citizen-Drawn Congressional Map

Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives yesterday passed a new congressional map, though without the support of any Democrats and with indications of disapproval from Gov. Tom Wolf (D). 

Two southeastern Republican representatives, Chris Quinn (Media) and Todd Stephens (Horsham) joined the Democrats in opposition. The plan must pass the GOP-led state Senate and receive the governor’s signature to go into effect this year.

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Pennsylvania House Committee Passes Bills to Reform Redistricting and Elections, Democrats Demur

Seth Grove

Yesterday, a Pennsylvania House of Representatives panel passed a series of redistricting and election reforms, including a bill establishing a citizens’ commission for redrawing legislative districts.

The redistricting bill, sponsored by Rep. Seth Grove (R-PA-York), chair of the House State Government Committee which vetted the measure, would ditch the current process for creating legislative-district maps. Such maps are drawn anew every decade in response to population shifts revealed by the U.S. Census. Presently, a five-member Legislative Reapportionment Commission (LRC), made up of Republican and Democratic leaders from both state-legislative chambers and chaired by an appointee of the state Supreme Court, oversees district remapping.

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Amendments Fail to Water Down Pennsylvania Bill to Restrict Private Money in Election Administration

State Rep. Eric Nelson

Pennsylvania Democratic lawmakers failed to pass a series of amendments Monday to weaken a state House bill that would restrict the ability of private third parties to fund election administration.

State Rep. Eric Nelson (R-Greensburg) is sponsoring the bill largely in reaction to the role that the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) played in election operations in numerous Pennsylvania counties last year. Grants bestowed by CTCL in 2020, which mostly aided Democrat-leaning counties, were funded significantly by Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg.

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Pennsylvania Democratic Lawmaker Would Permit Voters to Fix Signatures on Mail-In Ballots

A Pennsylvania legislator is in the process of introducing a package of election-reform bills, one of which would let voters adjust their signatures on their mail-in ballots when election officials identify problems with those signatures.

State Rep. Regina G. Young (D-Philadelphia) reasoned that it is common for an individual’s signature to vary over the years. County boards of elections nonetheless presently have the prerogative to void a mail-in ballot if the signature on that ballot fails to match the signature the county has on file for the voter.

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Pennsylvania House Democrat’s Proposed Changes to Election Law Would Allow Ballot ‘Curing’

Amidst Pennsylvania Republicans’ efforts to make elections more secure, a Democrat in the state House of Representatives has proposed his own very different voting reforms.

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Scott Conklin (D-State College), would explicitly authorize “curing” of mail-in and absentee ballots on which there are errors or omissions. County election-board staffers who observe that a mail-in ballot’s declaration either lacks the voter’s signature or the date or exhibits some other error would be instructed to notify the voter and allow him or her to make a correction before polls close on 8 p.m. on Election Day.

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