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THE GOVERNOR

PART I.  GOVERNOR'S OFFICE

[4 PA. CODE CH. 6]

[ EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 2004-11 ]

Pennsylvania Election Reform Task Force

[38 Pa.B. 2148]
[Saturday, May 10, 2008]

December 13, 2004

   Whereas, the intentions of voters in the sixth most populous state, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, are not weighted appropriately in the presidential primary election process because the Pennsylvania Primary Election takes place after the primary elections in 26 other states; and

   Whereas, Colorado's 2004 election included a ballot measure to apportion electoral college votes based on results of that state's presidential election and Maine and Nebraska already apportion electoral college votes under certain conditions, and the interests of Pennsylvania voters would benefit from reviewing options for apportionment of electoral votes; and

   Whereas, current estimates are that slightly more than nine million Pennsylvanians could vote, but only 5.76 million citizens, 62 percent of all eligible voting age adults, voted in the 2004 Presidential election; and

   Whereas, in the context of the 2004 Pennsylvania Primary and General Elections, court challenges were filed to address issues concerning the statutory requirements regarding processing of absentee ballots for deployed members of the armed forces and in response to the varied practices among the Commonwealth's 67 counties in their efforts to comply with the absentee voter processing requirements of Federal and Pennsylvania law; and

   Whereas, Pennsylvania's system for distributing and receiving absentee ballots may present an impediment to the goal of increasing voter participation; and

   Whereas, every county in Pennsylvania is working toward full compliance with the Federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) which requires increased attention to issues of voter access, education, improved election machines, election operations and election official training; and

   Whereas, increasingly states are expanding the opportunity to vote by permitting voting before Election Day or voting by mail; and

   Whereas, Pennsylvanians must be assured that the Commonwealth election system provides for the greatest level of participation and access while safeguarding the privacy of each vote and the integrity of every election.

   Now, Therefore, I, Edward G. Rendell, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and other laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, do hereby establish the Pennsylvania Election Reform Task Force as follows:
 

 

   Governor

   Fiscal Note:  GOV 04-12. (1) General Government Operations; (2) Implementing Year 2004-05 is $21,208; 1st Succeeding Year 2005-06 is $498; (3) 2003-04 Program--$0; 2002-03 Program--$0; 2001-02 Program $0; (8) recommends adoption.

Annex A

TITLE 4.  ADMINISTRATION

PART I.  GOVERNOR'S OFFICE

CHAPTER 6. ADDITIONAL COUNCILS AND COMMITTEES

Subchapter V.  PENNSYLVANIA ELECTION REFORM TASK FORCE

Sec.

6.291.Tasks.
6.292.Composition.
6.293.Report.
6.294.Cooperation by State agencies.
6.295.Effective date.
6.296.Termination date.

§ 6.291.  Tasks.

   (a)  The Pennsylvania Election Reform Task Force (Task Force) shall examine options and make recommendations for changing the date of the Primary Election, including legislative changes, and time- lines necessary to achieve the recommended changes.

   (b)  The Task Force shall review all absentee voting statutes, regulations and county practices and recommend legislative or regulatory actions appropriate to improve access to the election process for individuals who cannot get to a polling place on Election Day.

   (c)  The Task Force shall review all absentee voting statutes, regulations and county practices and recommend legislative or regulatory actions necessary to ensure the ability to participate in elections by those subject to the requirements of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) (42 U.S.C.A. §§ 1373ff--1373ff-6 and 18 U.S.C. §§ 608 and 609).

   (d)  The Task Force shall examine options and make recommendations to increase voter participation, including early voting, voting by mail or other similar system reforms, while ensuring the privacy and security of all ballots cast.

   (e)  The Task Force shall make recommendations to address specific deficiencies at the State or county level with respect to compliance with the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) (42 U.S.C.A. §§ 15301--15545).

   (f)  The Task Force may examine other voting reforms such as methods for apportioning electoral votes.

§ 6.292.  Composition.

   The Pennsylvania Election Reform Task Force (Task Force) shall consist of 13 members.

   (1)  The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall serve as Chairperson of the Task Force. Four additional members shall be appointed by the Governor and shall represent various constituencies affected by or knowledgeable about the Pennsylvania election processes.

   (2)  Each of the following legislative caucus leaders shall appoint one member of the Task Force. These members shall be private citizens with knowledge of the Pennsylvania election process.

   (i)   The President Pro Tempore of the Senate.

   (ii)  The Minority Leader of the Senate.

   (iii)  The Speaker of the House of Representatives.

   (iv)  The Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.

   (3)  The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania shall appoint three commissioners, election officials or private citizens to serve on the Task Force.

   (4)  The League of Women Voters shall appoint one person to serve on the Task Force.

§ 6.293.  Report.

   The Pennsylvania Election Reform Task Force shall present its recommendations in a final report by May 1, 2005.

§ 6.294.  Cooperation by State agencies.

   The Department of State shall serve as the administrative support agency of the Pennsylvania Election Reform Task Force (Task Force) and provide facilities, personnel assistance, information and services necessary to fulfill the objectives of the Task Force. All other Commonwealth agencies are directed to cooperate with and assist the Task Force in fulfilling its duties and responsibilities.

§ 6.295.  Effective date.

   This subchapter shall take effect immediately.

§ 6.296.  Termination date.

   This subchapter shall continue in effect until rescinded.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 08-874. Filed for public inspection May 9, 2008, 9:00 a.m.]



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