Matzie introduces vote-by-mail bill

Change would increase participation, save taxpayer dollars

HARRISBURG, April 3 – Voting that is easier, more efficient and more secure is the aim of a new vote-by-mail bill introduced today by state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny.

House Bill 1059 would permit Pennsylvania voters to cast their ballots by mail. Voters would request a ballot once and then continue receiving ballots for every election until they opted out.

“The right to vote is at the heart of our democracy, but the system we use to cast and count ballots can help or hinder the process,” Matzie said. “Voting by mail has numerous advantages over traditional voting: it increases voter participation, saves taxpayer dollars and reduces the already low chance of fraud.

“There are many other advantages, as well. No concern about the weather. No issues with making it to work on time, or to the polls on time. No hassle for first responders or emergency workers. No worrying about a ride to the polls. Easier for seniors. Easier for those with disabilities. Easier for those who travel for work. Easier for students. Easier for everyone.

“We already trust the postal service to handle sensitive personal documents, so we can feel confident in their ability to handle our ballots. A vote-by-mail system is already working in 22 other states, including three – Oregon, Washington and Colorado – that hold their elections entirely by mail. I’m encouraging my colleagues to support this bill, which will get more citizens involved in voting and end long lines on Election Day.”