Scavello: Senate Votes to Open Primary Elections to Independents

Harrisburg – Senator Mario Scavello (R-40) today joined Senate colleagues in voting to approve legislation allowing voters who are registered as independents to vote in Pennsylvania primary elections.

Senate Bill 300 would give over 740,000 registered unaffiliated voters the right to participate in the primary election process. On the day of the primary election, these voters would be able to choose to cast their vote on either the Republican or Democrat ballot. Voters who are registered with either the Republican Party or Democratic Party will continue to be required to vote on their respective ballots.

“Turnout in our primary elections is dismal, especially in ‘off-year’ elections,” said Scavello. “Opening up the primaries will franchise more voters and expand the number of voices heard on Election Day. This will add energy and vitality to our democratic process. I commend Senator Scarnati for his leadership in championing this issue.”

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 16 states utilize some form of an open primary for unaffiliated voters.

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CONTACT: Christine Zubeck czubeck@pasen.gov (717) 787-6123