The Voting Rights Protection Act will protect the voting rights of Pennsylvanians through accessibility, modernization and security. This bill would make Pennsylvania election law a national model and remove outdated, obsolete and unworkable provisions. 

Voting Rights Protection Act Re-Introduced

Following Gov. Tom Wolf's veto of the Pennsylvania Voting Rights Protection Act (formerly House Bill 1300) in June, Rep. Seth Grove has reintroduced the measure as House Bill 1800 after the governor says he now supports voter identification. 

In June, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Gov. Tom Wolf is now open to enhanced voter identification requirements in the Commonwealth. While this revelation would have been more welcomed when the General Assembly was moving House Bill 1300 through the legislative process, it is a productive development.

Read more details on the re-introduction of the bill.

Overview of Election Problems in PA Counties Related to the 2021 General Election

Updates in House Bill 1800

The Pennsylvania Voting Rights Protection Act language is updated to include the following: 

Improve poll worker retention efforts, modernize polling location language and modernize delivery of ballots and supplies to Judge of Elections (amendment from Rep. Jared Solomon, D-Philadelphia).

Revises the current requirement for requesting an absentee ballot by changing the deadline from the first Tuesday prior to the election to 15 days prior to the election.

The independent prosecutor language was updated:

      -  Attorney General shall appoint 90 days prior to the primary election with a Senate confirmation.

      -  County District Attorneys shall designate a prosecutor as a county election integrity officer and county board of elections shall include them in all their correspondences/election processes.

County election equipment funding shall be through the Commonwealth Financing Authority.

An appropriation of $3.1 million to operate the Bureau of Election Audits.

Require absentee and mail-in ballots received before Election Day be opened and counted by 9 p.m. election night. Mail-in and absentee ballots received on Election Day would be opened and counted by 2 a.m. the following day. Finally, election offices must compute all returns from each precinct, with the exception of provisional ballots, and all canvassed mail-in or absentee ballots, by no later than 6 a.m. the day after the election.

If it is believe a ballot or its method of return it is in violation of  any provision of the law, the ballot would be separately secured from all other ballots at the ballot return location, and the inspectors of election must record the date, time, identity of the elector and a record of each questionable ballot. The county board of elections would then determine whether the ballots are in violation. Only if the county board of elections is satisfied that a ballot is not in violation, would the ballot to be pre-canvassed or canvassed


To increase voter access, the bill would allow for:

- early in-person voting beginning in 2025;
- correcting non-fatal defects on mail-in ballots, such as unsigned or undated ballots (must be completed by 8 p.m. of Election Day).
- giving counties the option to use secure mail-in ballot drop boxes during specific times and at secure locations.
- increased access for voters with disabilities. 

To address issues raised by local election officials from all across Pennsylvania, the bill would:

- allow mail-in ballots to be counted starting five days before the election, as opposed to current law which allows the count to begin no earlier than 7 a.m. on Election Day.
- move the last day to register to vote back to 30 days prior to an election. 


The Voting Rights Protection Act would tighten security by:

- expanding upon Pennsylvania’s current voter identification law,
- requiring regular election audits,
- improving election uniformity among the 67 counties as required by the PA Constitution,
- enhancing certification processes for all machines used in elections,
- requiring signature verification using ballot scanning equipment for mail-in and absentee ballots,
- directing counties to provide registered voters with a scannable and durable voter registration card, much like the identification cards currently issued to voters for use when voting in person. 
- improving lists of registered voters and more.  

To cost-effectively ensure voters can trust official election office websites and limit the dissemination of misinformation, all county election board websites would be required to use a .gov domain address. 

>> Comprehensive Voting Rights Protection Bill to Increase Voter Access Unveiled

>> Poll results shows Pennsylvania residents largely in favor of tougher vote security measures

Quick Highlights of the Bill

- Watermarks on ballots
Public access to review ballots after the election
Ban ballot harvesting
Secure drop boxes with cameras, election workers, and observers
Voter’s Bill of Rights
Senior Citizens Voter’s Bills of Rights
Disabled Voter’s Bill of Rights
Curbside Voting
ADA Accessible Voting Machine Standards
Supervised voting for long-term care residents
Enhanced Voter ID
Signature Verification & 2 unique identifiers
Observers can see ballots
Public can review ballots after the election
Voter list maintenance - no dead people
Ban direct 3rd party funding of counties
Early in-person voting
5 days of additional pre-canvassing
Ensuring ADA compliance & accessibility
Realistic timelines for election administration
Funding county election operations
Comprehensive election audits
Uniformity across counties

Background Information

Election Law Hearings

Video links to the 10 election law hearings conducted by the PA House State Government Committee can be found here.

PA House State Government Committee report: A Comprehensive Review of Pennsylvania’s Election Laws: How Pennsylvania Can Guarantee Rights and Integrity in Our Election System

Election Fraud is Real 

More on Election Fraud in Pennsylvania