Pennsylvanians for Fair Elections has joined a newly created nonprofit coalition aimed at improving the state’s election system.
The new group, called Keystone Votes, is a nonpartisan coalition of state, local, and national advocacy and community organizations, that this week launched an education campaign about ways Pennsylvanians can update its election system.
The organization, which is composed of more than 20 local, state and national groups, believes Pennsylvania’s voting system needs to be updated to ensure it allows all eligible citizens – particularly seniors, veterans, working folks and young people –an equal opportunity to cast their ballots.
It also believes that an updated voting system would make it easier for those citizens to take part in the election process.
Keystone Votes believes Pennsylvania should take a cue from other states that have adopted election system updates – and to implement those that are tested and proven. The newly created coalition supports a multi-faceted approach to updating the election system through cost-effective initiatives such as:
- Optional Vote by Mail – Pennsylvania should expand the availability of absentee ballots to allow all voters to use the option without having to provide an excuse.
- Youth Preregistration – Youth preregistration allows people ages 16 and 17 to complete a registration form even if they will not be old enough to vote in the next election, ensuring they are on the rolls and able to vote once they are eligible.
- Early Voting – Early voting allows voters to cast ballots in-person at voting locations, allowing people to vote on evenings and weekends, and is offered at a variety of locations to make it convenient for voters across counties.
- Same-Day Registration – Pennsylvania voters are now required to register or update their registrations 30 days before an election to vote. Same-day registration allows voters to update registration records or register at their polling places on Election Day.
In addition to these policy ideas, Keystone Votes is working with the Department of State and county commissioners across Pennsylvania to guarantee the effective administration of our elections.
Current coalition members include: American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, Asian Americans United, Common Cause Pennsylvania, Conservation PA, Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania, Equality Pennsylvania, Fair Elections Legal Network, Keystone Progress Education Fund, Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, League of Women Voters Pennsylvania, New Voices Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group, Pennsylvania Working Families, Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition, Pennsylvanians for Fair Elections, Pittsburgh United, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Pennsylvania, Project Vote, Public Interest Law Center, Put People First, Senior Law Center, Sierra Club of Pennsylvania and the Urban League of Philadelphia
The Keystone Votes coalition is staffed by the nonprofit group Pennsylvania Voice and strategy decisions are made by its voting reform and election administration work group, which is composed of policy, advocacy, legal, and grassroots partners and it brings experts and leaders in this field to strategize, set collective goals, make joint plans, and hold each organization accountable and to add maximum value to the joint effort.