Harrisburg, PA – Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25) has introduced some legislation that could allow for open primaries in Pennsylvania.

Currently, only registered Democrats and Republicans can vote for who will appear as the candidate for their party in elections. These primary elections, which were just held in PA in May, set the stage for the general election, which will be Nov. 6 this year.

This is a midterm election, meaning that the majority of what you’ll see on your ballot are state seats, including State Senators, House Representatives, Governor of Pennsylvania, and Lieutenant Governor.

Senator Scarnati issued the following statement:

“I am pleased to introduce Senate Bill 1234 to allow for open primaries in Pennsylvania.  This bill is a bi-partisan piece of legislation introduced with the goal of giving over 740,000 registered unaffiliated Pennsylvania voters the right to participate in the primary election process. Specifically, on the day of the primary election, it will allow these voters to choose to cast their vote on either the Republican or Democrat ballot. Voters who are registered with either the Republican or Democratic Party will continue to be required to vote on their respective ballots.

“In our most recent primary election, only 18 percent of Pennsylvania’s registered voters went to the ballot box to cast a vote. The low turnout can in part be attributed to voters feeling disenfranchised by both major parties, who have taken control of our primary process. Allowing more people the opportunity to have a voice in their representation is an important step toward ensuring democracy.

“Senate Bill 1234 has been referred to the Senate State Government Committee. I look forward to working with my colleagues on this important legislation this fall.”

Learn more at Senator Scarnati’s website.