HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Corbett signed into law Wednesday a bill authored by Sen. Lloyd K. Smucker that indefinitely extends Pennsylvania’s voting standards, which were first adopted a decade ago and were set to expire this year.
SB 436 removes the sunset provision in the Pennsylvania Election Code dealing with voting standards adopted in 2003 in compliance with the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002.
“This legislation ensures that consistent and unbiased voting standards will remain in place for the foreseeable future,” Smucker said. “I thank the governor for his support in solidifying a critical and now permanent part of the electoral process.”
In 2003, the federal government required states to begin implementing HAVA by adopting uniform and nondiscriminatory standards defining what constitutes a vote cast through a paper ballot and what constitutes a valid vote cast through an electronic voting system. The standards, which were adopted by the Voting Standards Development Board on Aug. 2, 2003, make certain county boards of elections have proper guidance regarding the validation process.
In the 2011-12 legislative session, Sen. Charles McIlhinney introduced legislation that would extend the adopted voting standards through the 2011 and 2012 elections. Smucker’s bill ensures that future legislation further extending the standards will not be necessary.