Answers to “Election Integrity” Survey
Here are the fill out form answers to Election Integrity Survey requested by the Pennsylvania Senate Committee on Election Integrity and Reform:
Offer feedback here:
I voted at the Bryce Jordan Center during the time that it was open as a satellite Elections Office. I filled out my mail-in ballot application, received it from the window, and voted right there. As an Inspector of Elections in the 31st Precinct (State College W-1), I was uncertain if all of the other Elections Boards were adequately staffed, so I voted ahead of time in case I had to fill in at another precinct. As Inspector, I thought the June (formerly May) Primary was a good run through for the Fall Election.
In the fall training, I thought the Centre Elections Office provided a good refresher from the Primary training and shared some lessons learned from the June Primary. I felt confident during the day that I or one of our Precinct Election Board folks could provide answers for almost everything. I was aware of the process for voiding unvoted mail-in ballots and giving those voters in person ballots to cast. Although this was a point of emphasis in the training (and a change from the Spring), it didn’t appear that the Poll Watchers at our precinct were aware of this and that resulted in some confusion.
I am in strong support of the “no excuses” absentee ballot process continuing in the future. I believe that this makes the ballot more accessible for those who have to work long hours on Election Day or who have to care for loved ones at home. Remember that this was done before COVID (Act 77 of 2019) and on a bipartisan basis.
I suggest that some of the interpretations of the rules around Act 77 be codified into the law (as they should have after the June 2 Primary) including drop box access, mobile elections offices, and mail-in ballot surrender at the voter’s normal polling place. In addition, I recommend pre-canvassing of mail-in ballots should be allowed starting the Thursday morning before Election Day.
We saw unprecedented access to the ballot for the 2020 General Election as a result of Act 77 of 2019 and we should provide some legislative “tweaks” to improve the process and make the vote counting more timely.
Here are two pieces I’ve written concerning Photo Voter ID requirements:
Remember that both of these were written before Act 77 of 2019.
Comments on County Elections Office:
The Centre County Elections Office provided excellent training, particularly in light of changing interpretations of the laws, for both the Primary and General Elections of 2020. In addition, I made use of their satellite Elections Office in the Bryce Jordan Center on the Penn State Campus to cast my General Election “no-excuses” Absentee Ballot. The process at the BJC was well staffed, organized, and efficient.
Voting Experience Comments:
My voting experience was very efficient and smooth. At the Polling place, our Election Board was well trained, well staffed, and equipped to answer most voter queries.
Please leave any comments related to Pennsylvania state election laws that you would like the Pennsylvania Senate Special Committee on Election Integrity to review.
Please suggest a “fix” Bill that would codify some of the interpretations surrounding Act 77, including early pre-canvassing or canvassing of mail-in votes by the County Election Board and provision of a number of ballot drop boxes as determined by the County Elections Offices or Boards of Commissioners.
Empower County Commissioners and Election Boards to make local decisions regarding voter access that best suit their Counties.
Increase pay Statewide for Election Poll workers.