Jun. 23, 2021

HARRISBURG – Rep. Rob Mercuri (R-Allegheny) joined the majority of his colleagues from the House of Representatives in voting in favor of House Bill 1300, known as the Voting Rights Protection Act, which he co-sponsored.

The bill modernizes the Pennsylvania Election Code while fixing serious issues and maintaining voter integrity. It would tighten security by expanding on the Commonwealth’s current voter identification law, requiring election audits, creating uniformity across all 67 counties as required by the Pennsylvania Constitution, strengthening certification processes for machines used in elections, requiring signature verification for mail-in and absentee ballots, refining lists of registered voters and more.

“Voting security and integrity are non-negotiable,” Mercuri said. “This bill fixes issues brought forth to us from local election officials. We want to improve our election system while keeping the most important concept intact: maintaining voter integrity. This legislation creates consistency, which is crucial in making sure our elections truly let the people voice their choice at the polls.”

Under House Bill 1300, the existing voter registration card would be enhanced for in-person voting. Earlier counting of mail-in ballots would be permitted, moving it from 7 a.m. on Election Day to five days prior. The deadline to register to vote would shift back to 30 days before Election Day.

In order to increase access to the polls, early in-person voting would begin in 2025, some mistakes on ballots could be corrected, and counties would have the option to use secure ballot drop boxes during allotted times at protected locations.

“The early voting portion of the bill gives counties time to transition to the new method, an approach that probably would have been valuable last year as counties were hit with a barrage of new guidance from the state almost daily,” Mercuri said. “This doesn’t rush counties where mistakes could be made and put us back to square one.”

The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.

Representative Robert Mercuri
28th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Nate Temple