PA Dems Pushing Early Voting and Same-Day Registration Bills

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Speaking of voter registration, the PA Senate just voted to make voter registration easier by unanimously passing an online voter registration bill. The bills I’m really excited about would allow early voting for 30 days before an election, as well as same-day voter registration. Nobody’s raised significant objections to these ideas that don’t reek of partisan politics, but with a Republican-controlled legislature it seems unlikely we’ll see them pass this year. The real significance is that this will now be part of the Democratic agenda for the next time they take power.

Here’s Randy LoBasso on the online voter registration bill:

The Pennsylvania State Senate just passed a bill—unanimously, 49-0—that would allow Pennsylvanians to register to vote online. The bill, introduced by Sen. Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster), was similarly introduced last session, but did not get anywhere.

Several groups, including Common Cause PA, Conservation Voters of  Pennsylvania and the Philly-based Committee of Seventy, had been  advocating for online voter registration. When we spoke about the issue  with Seventy’s Ellen Kaplan last month, she noted this past election’s voter registration backlog may have been avoided if registering to vote didn’t have to be done with paper ballots.

“We predict that this will significantly expand the number younger  citizens taking part in our elections and all the research shows that  young voters are environmental voters,” noted the Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania on their Facebook page after the bill was passed.

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