State Sen. Steve Santarsiero (D-10th dist.) has introduced legislation to guarantee a more timely count of ballots on Election Day by allowing counties additional time to pre-canvass mail-in ballots.
The legislation would permit county boards of election to begin pre-canvassing mail-in ballots beginning 21 days before Election Day.
“We saw more than 2.6 million Pennsylvanians vote by mail in the 2020 general election, yet the final results were not known for five days. If we want a timely counting of ballots on Election Day, we must allow election officials to begin handling the influx of mail-in ballots sooner,” Santarsiero said.
The Election Code permits counties to begin pre-canvassing ballots, but not tally the results, beginning at 7 a.m. on Election Day.
“The change to the Election Code in 2020 was a good start, but as we saw from how long it took to count all the ballots, it just doesn’t go far enough to provide counties with the time they need to process these ballots,” Santarsiero said. “Allowing for a 21-day pre-canvass will ease the burden on our county election administrators, which is something other states with mail-in ballot programs have been doing successfully for many years.”
Santarsiero has also introduced the Safe Drop Act, which would make it easier to vote by requiring counties to have one ballot drop box location for every 20,000 voters.