Primary date change advances

State lawmakers working to hold election on June 2

March 25, 2020 Cranberry Local News

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Steps have been taken to legally move the Pennsylvania primary election to June 2.

On Tuesday, the state House of Representatives submitted and approved Amendment 4870 by a 198-0 vote.

If passed, the amendment would change the primary election date from April 28 to June 2.

Sen. Elder Vogel Jr., R-47th, was the primary sponsor of the original bill, Senate Bill 422, when it was introduced last year on March 12. The bill would amend the Pennsylvania Election Code and create the Pennsylvania Election Law Advisory Board, which would be tasked with reviewing the state's election laws and technology to upgrade the voting process.

The bill passed a final Senate vote, 28- 22, last June, and was then referred to the House State Government Committee where it had been tabled until just this week.

The amendment to Vogel's bill — which is set to be voted on Wednesday — would make the change to the primary election date official.

On Monday, the House committee sent the bill to the House floor where it received its first consideration.

The bill, and its new amendment, will require a final House vote during Wednesday's session to move forward.

Like many of her colleagues, Rep. Marci Mustello, R-11th, remotely recorded her vote Tuesday.

“We're well aware of the dangers out there. We're just trying to keep everybody safe,” Mustello said.

Mustello said the amendment was a bipartisan effort reflected by the 198-0 vote.

“It just shows that we can come to an agreement on issues to keep the public safe and healthy,” she said.

Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-12th, said all the representatives are concerned about their constituents and putting their health first.

“We want to make sure it's a safe environment for folks to exercise their right to vote,” he said.

Metcalfe said the bill was the right call and will have a great impact on election volunteers.

“Moving the date is going to give us time for that curve to flatten out,” Metcalfe said.

He said it also gives the voters a chance to regain a sense of normalcy and readjust to their routines.

“They can start having their lives return to normal and at that time, we'll have more people freed up to conduct the elections again,” Metcalfe said.

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Nathan Bottiger

Nathan Bottiger

Nathan Bottiger graduated with a degree in journalism in 2015 from Pitt-Johnstown. A business reporter, he also covers Slippery Rock borough, township and school district.