HARRISBURG — Sen. Doug Mastriano (PA-33) announced today that he will soon introduce legislation to strengthen election law enforcement to ensure safe and accurate elections in the future.
An overview of the legislation:
Creation of the Office of Election Crimes and Security
This office will be responsible for investigating all election crimes, credible accusations of election crimes, and affidavits alleging election violations.
Illegal collection of ballots
The current penalty for illegal ballot collection will be increased from a misdemeanor to a third-degree felony for people who knowingly collect and deliver multiple ballots on behalf of other voters.
Annual statewide audits
The Office of the Auditor General will be responsible for conducting an annual comprehensive statewide audit of ballot chain-of-custody protocols, the SURE voter registration system, poll records, and all voting machines used for the administration of an election. The conclusions of the audit are published in a report to the General Assembly.
Any modification of the electoral laws via a judicial settlement will require the approval of the General Assembly. In addition, the Secretary of State will be prohibited from entering a consent decree in court regarding election procedures without first obtaining the approval of the General Assembly.
“Laws that were already in effect were clearly ignored by the executive branch and the judiciary in the 2020 elections and that is why we need comprehensive reform,” Senator Mastriano said. “Annual statewide audits will provide a layer of transparency and assurance of election accuracy. The new Bureau of Election Crimes and Security will investigate all possible violations of election law. This office is especially needed after the PA Attorney General’s Office and U.S. Regional Attorneys chose to ignore hundreds of sworn affidavits in the 2020 election.”