Jun. 22, 2021

HARRISBURG – Rep. Lee James (R-Butler/Venango) 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.

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.

“This bill modernizes our elections to reflect changing voter needs and technologies while also ensuring security and integrity,” James said.

According to 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 from 15 days to 30 days before Election Day, thus giving municipalities more time to get prepared for an upcoming election.

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.

“An important distinction for the future of all 67 counties is this legislation ensures that every county will play by the same rules,” James said. “Consistency and security ensure integrity at the polls. This bill helps regain the trust of the public.”

The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.

Representative R. Lee James
64th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Nate Temple