HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Two bills, sponsored by Senator Scott Martin (R-13) were approved by the Senate State Government Committee on Tuesday, Sept. 21. According to the press release, the bills are “designed to improve Pennsylvania election law.”
The first of the two bills, Senate Bill 56, will 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 second bill, Senate Bill 551, “amends the Pennsylvania Constitution to eliminate a mandate that requires a separate ballot or a separate column on voting machines when voting for the retention of justices, judges or justices of the peace.”
Both bills will now go to the full Senate for consideration. Since it is a constitutional amendment, Senate Bill 551, must pass both the House and the Senate in two consecutive legislative sessions before being placed on the ballot for voters.
“It is important that we continue to take incremental steps to improve our elections,” Senator Martin said. “We must ensure that we reduce ballot confusion, reduce wasted ballot space and provide the opportunity for qualified interested candidates to hold public office. These bills do just that.”
According to the press release, the earliest voters could see Senate Bill 551 on the ballot is the 2022 primary election.