DiGirolamo Bill Aims to Fund New Voting Machines

State Rep. Gene DiGirolamo speaks at a press conference in June.

State Rep. Gene DiGirolamo will be introducing legislation to help counties fund new voting machines and extend the absentee ballot period. The announcement comes days after a veto from Governor Tom Wolf which stopped a bill to fund new voting machines and end straight-ticket voting.

Senate Bill 48 passed the state Senate 31 – 19, with three votes from Democrat members. The legislation would have given $90 million to reimburse counties for replacing voting machines. It would have ended party voting in Pennsylvania, which allows voters to push a button and vote for all members of a party in an election.

“Our counties are in the midst of replacing voting machines,” DiGirolamo said in a press release. “They are working diligently, within a short time frame, to make the right choices for their respective voters. This is a costly endeavor, and we must take steps to provide needed funding. In addition, we need to remove barriers that prevent people from exercising their right to vote.”

DiGirolamo’s bill would also float $90 million for the same purpose, more than half of counties’ costs. But the bill is unique in extending the absentee voter period.

Under this legislation, voters who postmarked their ballot by the Friday before Election Day could have their vote counted as long as it arrived by the Tuesday after Election Day at 5 p.m.