In This Update:
Senate Leaders Propose Reforms to Make Elections More Efficient, Secure and Accessible
Ensuring a fair and accurate election in November is one of the most critical issues the Senate is expected to tackle this fall. Senate leaders recently introduced a package of reforms that will expand voter access, implement greater efficiencies within Pennsylvania’s voting process and maintain election security.
The bill would protect the integrity of elections by requiring counties to check signatures on mail-in and absentee ballots to ensure they match with the signatures on file. Counties would be required to contact a voter to affirm their ballot if the signatures do not match. The legislation would also move the application deadline for mail-in and absentee ballots to 15 days prior to the election and provide additional time for counties to canvass the results to avoid a delay in reporting the outcome.
Other provisions of the bill would help address a potential shortage of poll watchers and poll workers, provide voters with ballots earlier, and provide for new secure return locations for ballots.
The reforms were developed with input from county commissioners and local elections officials and would address issues that were raised in the Department of State’s report on the 2020 primary election.
New Guidance Will Allow Spectators at Fall High School Sporting Events
Two weeks ago, the PIAA voted to allow fall high school sports to resume with proper precautions in place to protect the health of student-athletes. This week, updated guidance was released that will allow a limited number of spectators to also attend these events.
Although the new guidance allows for spectators, the Wolf Administration’s limitations on gatherings (25 or fewer people indoors, 250 or fewer outdoors) will remain in effect. Spectators must also wear a mask and practice social distancing.
Senate Returns to Session Next Week
The Senate will return to session next week beginning on Tuesday. A complete schedule of committee hearings and meetings is available here, and all of the meetings and floor activity will be streamed live at www.pasenategop.com.
CDL and Commercial Learner’s Permits Extended Through September 30
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation recently extended the expiration dates for commercial driver licenses (CDL) and commercial learner’s permits through September 30. Previous deadlines that were extended for non-commercial driver licenses, photo ID cards and camera cards during the COVID-19 pandemic expired on August 31.
A list of driver license and photo licenses centers is available at www.dmv.pa.gov.
Virtual Consumer Protection Events Scheduled for September
The Department of Banking will host several virtual events in September to help senior citizens, veterans, service providers and other members of the public learn more about consumer protection tools that are available to Pennsylvanians. The events will cover topics including how to avoid scams and identity theft, cybersecurity, retirement planning and much more.
Check out the full schedule of events for more information.
Symposium Scheduled on VA Benefits
The Veterans Benefit Administration will host a virtual town hall meeting on September 24 for community groups, non-profits and faith-based organizations that are interested in helping to connect veterans in their area with the benefits they have earned through their service to our country.
If you do not wish to receive this email, click here to unsubscribe.