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Harrisburg, Pa. – The House advanced several proposed constitutional amendments this month with an aim of creating more balance between governmental branches and improving the election system.

Voter ID

In light of the broad, bipartisan support for voter ID, the first measure seeks to amend the Constitution to require all voters to present valid identification each time they cast their ballot, regardless of whether they are voting by mail or in person. Any voter who does not have valid identification would be provided with a government-issued ID at no cost.

Election Audits

Another proposed amendment would require comprehensive auditing of elections, including the administration of elections, certification of election machines, the accuracy of the list of registered voters, the administration of voter registration and election results.

Reining in Executive Powers

Two additional proposed amendments continue the efforts to restore a proper balance of power between the executive and legislative branches of state government. One amendment would limit executive orders to 21 days unless extended by a concurrent resolution of the General Assembly, and the other would allow the General Assembly to fully disapprove of a regulation without approval of the governor.

The measures were added to Senate Bill 106, which proposes to amend the Constitution to allow candidates for governor to select their running mates for lieutenant governor, similar to the way presidential candidates select vice presidential running mates. Currently, the office of lieutenant governor is elected independently.

To amend the state Constitution, the proposal must be passed in identical form by the House and Senate in two consecutive sessions of the General Assembly and then approved by voters in a referendum.

The bill now returns to the Senate for consideration.

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