Senator Martin’s Election Reform Proposals Move Forward

HARRISBURG – The Senate approved a bill today that would help prevent many of the unintended consequences stemming from write-in candidates being elected with a small number of votes, according to the bill’s sponsor, Senator Scott Martin (R-13).

“A number of Lancaster County communities have dealt with serious problems because unqualified and disinterested candidates were elected to important offices with only a few write-in votes – sometimes as few as a single vote,” Martin said. “We need to set reasonable standards for write-in candidates to prevent our taxpayers and communities from suffering these kinds of consequences in the future.”

Senate Bill 417 would require successful write-in candidates to receive at least the same number of write-in votes as would be required if they had filed signed nomination petitions. The bill would weed out candidates who may lack interest or basic qualifications for office, Martin said.

The bill was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

In addition, the House of Representatives approved a bill today sponsored by Martin that would remove an antiquated ballot requirement that increases costs to local taxpayers.

Existing state law requires a separate ballot or a separate column on voting machines when voting for the retention of justices, judges, and justices of the peace.

Senate Bill 413 would eliminate this outdated mandate. The bill was amended by the House and sent back to the Senate for consideration.

 

CONTACT: Terry Trego (717) 787-6535