Harrisburg, PA – October 17, 2023 – Senator Lisa M. Boscola (D-Northampton) celebrates the passage of House Bills 976 and 979 through the House State Government Committee today, marking a significant step towards establishing open primary elections in Pennsylvania. These bills respectively, aim to dismantle the state’s closed primary system, providing an inclusive platform for unaffiliated voters, otherwise known as independents.

Senator Boscola, a longstanding advocate for open primaries, expressed her elation at the progression of this crucial legislation. “The passage of HB 976 and HB 979 through the House State Government Committees is a testament to our commitment to fostering a more inclusive and participatory democratic process in Pennsylvania,” said Senator Boscola. “This initiative is particularly meaningful to me, as I first introduced legislation to repeal closed primaries in 1996, as a member of the House.”

Since her initial introduction of HB 2411 in 1996, Senator Boscola has persistently championed the cause of open primaries, recognizing the importance of giving all citizens a voice in the electoral process. Her dedication is further exemplified by her recent collaboration with Senator Dan Laughlin (R-Erie) in introducing SB 400, which underscores her bipartisan commitment to this critical issue.

Without open primaries approximately 1.1 million unaffiliated voters in Pennsylvania are excluded from our electoral system. Opening up our primary elections, like the majority of states have done, “is meaningful”, Boscola said. “It would send a message to this growing segment of our population, especially young voters. We see you, and we want your voice to be heard in our government”.

The favorable vote out of the House State Government Committee now sends HB 976 and HB 979 to the House for consideration. Senator Boscola urges her colleagues to support this bipartisan effort and seize the opportunity to enhance democracy in Pennsylvania by embracing open primaries.

“Whether it is their bill or mine, I don’t care. Let us get this done, once and for all.”