– Legislation sponsored by Rep. Jeff Wheeland (R-Lycoming) that would provide further qualifications of electors was passed in the House State Government Committee on Monday.
House Bill 1596
is a joint resolution proposing separate and distinct constitutional amendments involving valid voter identification, election processes and voter registration requirements.
“This legislation simply enhances election integrity and election security, and increases voter confidence,” said Wheeland. “There are comprehensive improvements proposed to the Election Code, and these improvements within House Bill 1596 are proposals that properly align with Article VII of the Constitution of Pennsylvania.”
The proposed separate and distinct constitutional amendments include:
Modernize the PA Constitution to align with the U.S. Constitution, updating sections of Article VII that are in conflict with federal constitutional provisions.
Enact voter ID requirements that are broadly supported by a large majority of Pennsylvanians. Additionally, voter registration requirements would be strengthened, including requiring county administrators to confirm an applicant's eligibility prior to approving an application to register.
Prohibit private financing of elections administration and require additional ballot security as well as public inspection of ballots after an election.
Strengthen the uniformity requirements for election administration.
Require robust and independent election audits, conducted by the Auditor General.
Establish the Secretary of the Commonwealth as an elected position, as the chief elections officer is in the majority of states, to provide additional independence and professionalism to our elections process.
This legislation must be approved in two consecutive sessions in hopes the proposed amendment would be placed on the ballot in 2023.
Rep. Jeff C. Wheeland
Pennsylvania House of Representatives