CHAMBERSBURG – The Franklin County Commissioners have joined with the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania in urging the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to expedite its decision on the Commonwealth’s legislative maps.
While Pennsylvania’s congressional maps have been established and are in place for the state’s Primary Election on May 17, the Commonwealth’s maps for legislative districts – those that determine the local districts for senators and representatives serving in Pennsylvania’s General Assembly – remain undecided.
That uncertainty impacts the Franklin County Board of Elections and those in other counties, which are responsible for overseeing all aspects of Pennsylvania elections. According to the state’s Election Code, counties are required to complete a myriad of tasks in preparation for an election such as preparing ballots for absentee, mail-in, military and overseas voters as well as programming voting machines. Those tasks cannot be completed until all candidates and districts have been determined. Counties are also tasked with processing voter registrations, training poll workers, preparing poll books and other materials for polling places, and otherwise assisting voters.
CCAP has filed an amicus brief with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court requesting the Court expedite its decision on the legislative maps and to offer counties a reasonable amount of time to complete the tasks associated with the Primary Election should the Court consider adjusting the state’s election calendar with respect to the General Assembly.
The Court’s continued delay in making a decision on the legislative maps could jeopardize the state’s election calendar and its single Primary Election date. An additional date to accommodate a second primary for General Assembly elections would require additional ballots, printing needs, poll workers and other associated costs that would ultimately fall upon taxpayers.
“Pennsylvania counties have and will always administer accurate, fair and successful elections, but the longer it takes to achieve clarity around our Primary Election process, the more likely they will be forced to consider spending property taxpayer dollars on emergency assistance such as additional workers, printing needs and supply chain shortages,” said CCAP President Daryl Miller. “We can minimize this if counties just have clear, direct guidance on election protocol, as quickly as possible, and even more importantly, eliminate confusion and give our voters the utmost confidence in the integrity of the election process.”