Election reform package speeds toward vote in Pennsylvania

Regional News

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Legislation speeding toward approval in Pennsylvania would deliver the biggest changes to state election laws in decades while approving much of the money it’ll cost counties to buy new voting machines ahead of next year’s presidential election.

Votes in the Republican-controlled Legislature were possible Tuesday after the House began debate. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf negotiated its terms with top Republican lawmakers and his office says he’ll sign it.

It lets any voter mail in a ballot, moves voter-registration deadlines closer to elections and authorizes $90 million in borrowing for voting machines that Wolf wanted counties to buy as an election-security measure.

It also eliminates the ballot option for straight party ticket voting. Republicans pushed for that provision, amid worries that down-ballot Republican candidates will suffer from a suburban voter backlash against President Donald Trump next year.

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