Senate Votes to Ban Unsecured Ballot Drop Boxes and Private Funding of Elections

HARRISBURG – The state Senate voted today to safeguard the integrity of Pennsylvania’s elections by preventing the future use of unsecured ballot drop boxes and banning the use of private money to fund election operations.  Senator David G. Argall (R-29) voted to support both bills after chairing three public hearings of the Senate State Government Committee reviewing the proposals in recent weeks.

Senate Bill 982 would ban any state employee or county from accepting money from outside groups to pay for the administration of elections in Pennsylvania.  The bill received strong bipartisan support on the floor of the Senate, passing with a vote of 37-12.

In two recent hearings of the State Government Committee, investigative reporter Todd Shepherd of Broad + Liberty testified about a concerted effort by dark money groups and lobbyists to guide private funding to select counties to fund the administration of the 2020 election. 

Senate Bill 1200 would require mail-in ballots that are not returned in the mail to be returned only to the County Board of Elections office, effectively eliminating drop boxes in Pennsylvania.  The Pennsylvania Supreme Court permitted drop boxes just months before the 2020 election, despite the fact they were never authorized by the General Assembly.

There have been many documented cases of misuse of ballot drop boxes since they were created.  

Both bills now advance to the House of Representatives for its consideration.

Contact: Jim Brugger

717.787.2637