HARRISBURG – The PA House State Government Committee advanced House Bill 1300, the Voting Rights Protection Act. It allows for early in-person voting beginning in 2025; corrects non-fatal defects on mail-in ballots, which must be completed by 8 p.m. of Election Day; and gives counties the option to use secure mail-in ballot drop boxes during specific times and at secure locations. The bill also increases access for voters with disabilities. The bill would allow mail-in ballots to be counted starting five days before the election and move the last day to register to vote back to 30 days prior to an election, as requested by county election officials. It calls for an expansion of PA’s voter ID law; requires regular election audits; improves election uniformity among the 67 counties; enhances certification processes for all machines used in elections; requires signature verification using ballot scanning equipment for mail-in and absentee ballots; improves lists of registered voters; and conducts an audit of every election to improve security. Specifically, registered voters would receive through their counties’ durable scannable voter registration cards, much like the ID cards currently issued to voters, to be used when voting in person. The bill now goes to the full House.