Business leaders know that being unprepared is never a good thing. In 2020, 2.6 million Pennsylvanians voted via mail-in ballots, and Pennsylvania wasn't prepared. The failure to announce election results the same day as the contest has become a national embarrassment and an unwelcome tradition. As a result, some voters have come to question the reliability of the entire election system. This is all bad news for our democracy and the state’s business climate. Fortunately, there is a solution in the works in advance of the 2024 election.
By easing administrative burdens on election officials, pre-canvassing helps ensure the timely and accurate reporting of results from mail ballots on election night. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 38 states allow pre-canvassing, demonstrating that this is not a partisan issue. And according to the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, all county commissioners, Republican and Democrat, want pre-canvassing. This is the kind of common-sense, bipartisan progress that everyone can get behind.
Last year, Centre County State Representative Scott Conklin (D) called on leaders in Harrisburg to pass legislation through a clean pre-canvassing bill. BFA Pennsylvania will be evaluating a number of upcoming legislative measures that support county and city election administrators in being best prepared for elections.
Please join Business for America and civic-minded businesses in urging PA General Assembly leadership to pass comprehensive, bipartisan legislation allowing for pre-canvassing of mail-in and absentee ballots in the 2024 election.
The following companies and business organizations have signed our business letter urging Congress to pass the bipartisan Civics Secures Democracy Act (S.879 / H.R.1814).
"Civic engagement is vital for the health of our democracy. With expanded civics education in K-12 and higher education, this bill will equip new generations of Americans with a deeper understanding of their responsibilities as citizens and how to exercise their cherished rights."
- Senator Chris Coons (D-DE)
"The United States continues to be a model for the world because we are taught from a young age the merits of democracy, our Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the civic duties that are inherently part of being an American. This bill would help our schools inspire the next generation of public servants and teach all young Texans the value of freedom."
- Senator John Cornyn (R-TX)
“Over the last several decades, civics education in American schools has seen a significant decline. The divide in this country continues to grow as we neglect civics education and fail to build a nation adequately informed of our democratic principles, norms, and institutions. Now, more than ever, it is important that we work together, across the aisle to invest in our young leaders—to secure our democracy for future generations. This legislation does just that.”
- Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)
"In order to preserve America’s unique form of governance, prioritizing access to civics and history education is key. As a former history teacher, I believe that lack of knowledge of America’s history is one of the greatest threats to preserving our republic and ensuring a prosperous future for generations to come. Indeed, when Americans have a deeper understanding of our nation’s history and founding principles, they become more engaged citizens, who participate in our government the way our Founding Fathers intended.”"
- Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK)
Rep. Scott Conklin | D - Centre County
City Commissioner Seth Bluestein | R - Philadelphia
Ethan Demme| CEO, Demme Learning, Lancaster County, PA