McClinton bill would improve Pennsylvanians’ voting access

Bill includes provisions common in states like New Jersey, Virginia and Georgia

HARRISBURG, June 7 – PA House Speaker Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, introduced legislation (H.B. 2369) this week that would improve access to the polls for lawfully registered Pennsylvania voters.

McClinton’s bill, which has garnered widespread support from lawmakers, voting advocates, and from the Shapiro administration, would allow registered Pennsylvania voters to vote early, in-person, during the two weeks leading up to Election Day and allow any eligible Pennsylvanian to register to vote at polling locations on Election Day.

“Voting is at the core of our national identity and among our most valued rights as Americans,” McClinton said. “Our elections and our democracy depend on people exercising their right to vote. Government should not be erecting barriers to voting, but instead should find ways to make the system accessible to more Pennsylvanians so their voices can be heard.

“Measures like early voting and same-day registration add convenience and security and have already been adopted in dozens of other states, including those with historic records of voter suppression like Florida and Georgia.”

McClinton said same-day voter registration would make it possible for eligible Pennsylvanians to register when it’s most relevant and convenient -- on Election Day. It would also enable real-time corrections to inaccurate voter rolls, strengthening the safety and security of the election system.

Allowing two weeks of early in-person voting on machines would give voters with demanding work schedules or dynamic family responsibilities an opportunity to cast their vote at a time that works best for them, she said. It would also relieve congestion at the busiest of polling locations. Finally, it would help seniors, especially those who use wheelchairs or walkers, by allowing more time to accommodate their needs.

McClinton’s legislation complements voting improvements implemented in 2023, including automatic voter registration and the redesign of mail-in ballots. To ease in the adoption of the proposed improvements, the provisions of McClinton’s bill would take effect over the next three years.

“As the birthplace of American democracy, it’s time we offered Pennsylvanians more options to vote safely and conveniently, reduce the time people wait in line to cast a ballot, and guarantee that every voter has enough time to exercise their right to participate in our elections. Every voice matters.” McClinton said.