The Pennsylvania House speaker emphasized on Monday the importance of enabling qualified residents to register to vote at polling places on the day of elections, along with the proposal to establish early voting centers accessible for a period of two weeks before Election Day.

Speaker Joanna McClinton, a Democrat representing Philadelphia, had previously introduced these measures as part of a broader set of election reforms during the last two-year session. However, like many election-related proposals, it faced challenges in the politically divided Legislature and did not progress.

“Every bill requires compromise,” stated McClinton on Monday as she began seeking cosponsors for a more focused approach. “We have a lot of work to do in our chamber, of course across the aisle and across the building.”

In response to McClinton’s proposal, Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman, a Republican from Indiana, referred to a GOP-backed proposal that has also encountered obstacles in the General Assembly, mentioning the potential for progress if Voter ID is pursued as a Constitutional Amendment.

County officials responsible for overseeing Pennsylvania elections have consistently advocated for additional time to process mail-in ballots in the lead-up to elections. While McClinton had previously included this provision in her bill, she has chosen to omit it this time. Additionally, lawmakers have not taken action to change the date of Pennsylvania’s spring primary, scheduled for April 23, despite concerns that it coincides with the first day of the Passover holiday.

In 2019, a law was enacted in Pennsylvania that significantly expanded mail-in and absentee voting options, providing voters with the ability to cast their ballots in advance. McClinton has now proposed establishing early voting centers equipped with machines accessible to all legally registered voters.

According to McClinton, many other U.S. states already permit some form of in-person early voting, and the two-week period she supports aligns with the approach adopted by those states.