Sep. 27, 2022

HARRISBURG – The House State Government Committee announced on Tuesday that a vote has been scheduled for Oct. 26 on House Bill 1369, which would open Pennsylvania primary elections to independent voters.

The vote follows a hearing hosted by Rep. Chris Quinn (R-Delaware), who is the prime sponsor of the bill. The hearing, held at Villanova University in August, debated the merits of allowing independent voters to vote in Pennsylvania primaries. Current state law only allows registered Republicans or Democrats to vote in primary elections.

“Our politics continue to grow more divisive day by day and yet more and more voters are choosing to leave the major parties and register as independents,” Quinn said. “These voters deserve a voice in our system of government and this bill would grant them a greater voice. I am very pleased Chairman Grove has scheduled a vote on this bill, and I hope my colleagues will join me in supporting the measure.”

Quinn noted that currently independent voters help fund primary elections through their tax dollars and yet are barred from participating, which House Bill 1369 would remedy.

During the hearing in August, numerous proponents of open primaries spoke in support of House Bill 1369.

“This change is the right thing to do, and it’s the smart thing to do,” said David Thornburgh, chair of Ballot PA, during the August hearing.

John Opdycke, president of Open Primaries, a national non-profit working toward more open and inclusive elections, noted at the August hearing that independent voters continue to grow in numbers.
“Their numbers have doubled in the last decade,” Opdycke said of independent voters. “Denying the fastest-growing group of voters in the Commonwealth the franchise is unsustainable in the long haul.”

If House Bill 1369 passes the State Government Committee, it would then go to the full House for consideration.

“I know this is a long and arduous process, but the scheduling of a vote marks a significant first step to allowing more voters to take part in our democracy,” Quinn said.

Representative Chris Quinn
168th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Rene Morrow
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