Making voting easier!

Voting is one of our most valuable rights as Americans -- and our democracy works best when people exercise that right and have their voices heard in our elections.

Voting is one of our most valuable rights as Americans -- and our democracy works best when people exercise that right and have their voices heard in our elections.  

Protecting your voting rights has always been one of my top priorities as a legislator.

While some people champion measures that would make it harder to vote, especially in our urban communities, my colleagues and I have always opposed these bills.

In fact, I recently introduced a measure that would make voting easier and more convenient by allowing in-person early voting and same-day voter registration in Pennsylvania. These measures would empower our state’s voters.  

Specifically, my legislation would allow lawfully registered Pennsylvania voters to vote early in-person during the two weeks leading up to Election Day. It would also allow an eligible Pennsylvanian to register to vote at polling locations on Election Day.

Early voting would be helpful for busy people who may have demanding work schedules or dynamic family responsibilities to vote in-person at a time that is most convenient for them. It would also relieve congestion at busy polling places and help our seniors, especially those who use wheelchairs or walkers, by allowing more time to accommodate their needs.

By allowing same-day registration, our neighbors could register to vote on the day when it is most relevant and convenient – Election Day. Plus, it would allow for real-time corrections to inaccurate voter rolls, which adds to the safety and security of our election system.

There is widespread support for my legislation.

Nearly two thirds of all Pennsylvania voters support measures to make voting more convenient; that means people from across the political spectrum. Plus, a coalition of more than 50 non-partisan organizations that advocate for civic engagement and improving voting accessibility have endorsed my bill. Gov. Josh Shapiro has also issued his support. City Council President Kenyatta Johnson and Commissioner Lisa Deeley attended an event where I announced my legislation.

Many other states have already implemented similar measures. Roughly two thirds of all the states already have some form of early voting and two dozen states and the District of Columbia already permit any qualified resident to register to vote on Election Day and then cast their ballot.

Even states with a history of voter suppression and restrictive voting laws, like Florida and Georgia, allow for early voting!

To help our county election officials prepare for these changes, my legislation would be implemented gradually, and the changes wouldn’t take effect until 2026 and 2027.

As our nation’s birthplace, Pennsylvania should be doing all it can to strengthen our democracy. Ultimately the measures in my bill help ensure that all eligible Pennsylvanians have the opportunity to exercise their right and aren’t forced to choose between their competing or conflicting responsibilities and voting.

Also, remember, Pennsylvania’s primary election is Tuesday, April 23. Make your plan now to exercise your right and have your voice heard!