COMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania, Appellant,

Superior Court of Pennsylvania
282 Pa.Super. 100,  422 A.2d 847 (1980)

 HESTER, Judge:

 The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania brings this appeal from an Order of the lower court quashing eight bills of Information lodged against appellee Murray Bidner on January 31, 1979. The Informations charged appellee with a variety of voting irregularities in several primary and general elections in Philadelphia between October, 1974 and May, 1978.

 [p.104] On May 30, 1979, following consideration of appellee's motion to quash, the court entered an opinion and order granting the motion as to all bills. This appeal followed.

  On May 16, 1978, a primary election was held in the City of Philadelphia. On that day, appellee Bidner petitioned the Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, in its capacity as the Elections Court,[n. 1] to permit him to vote, even though his name had been removed from the district register.[n. 2] During the hearing, under oath, appellee stated his address to be 721 Ranstead Street. Following the brief hearing, the court issued an order permitting Bidner to vote. Bill of Information No. 2514 charges appellee with perjury under the Crimes Code, 18 Pa.C.S.A. s 4902[n. 3] for making a [p.105] false statement as to his residence at that hearing. The lower court quashed this bill,  holding that Bidner should have been charged with perjury under the Election Code, Act of June 3, 1937, P.L. 1333, Art. XVIII, s 1802, 25 P.S. s 3502, which provides:

Any wilful false statement made under oath or affirmation or in writing, stating that it is so made, although such oath or affirmation may not have actually been made, by any person regarding any material matter or thing relating to any subject being investigated, heard, determined or acted upon by any county board of elections, or member thereof, or by any court or judge thereof, judge of election, inspector of election, or overseer, in accordance with the terms of this act, shall be perjury, and any person upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding five hundred ($500) dollars, or to undergo an imprisonment of not less than three (3) months nor more than two (2) years, or both, in the discretion of the court.
 We agree with the court below.

 Both Section 4902 (Crimes Code) and Section 3502 (Election Code) embrace the same subject matter-a wilfully false statement under oath-except that the latter provision classifies the offense as a misdemeanor carrying a two year maximum imprisonment, rather than a felony with a maximum penalty of seven years, as under s 4902. In addition, it is appropriate to observe that s 4902 is a general penal provision encompassing all wilfully false statements in any official proceeding. Section 3502, on the other hand, is a more specific measure applying only to persons who violates its strictures in the exercise of their franchise privileges. The Commonwealth concedes that the two statutes are in conflict, since the general provision prohibits the same misconduct as the specific provision. In such a situation, we [p.106] look for guidance to the Statutory Construction Act, Act of December 6, 1972, No. 290, s 3, 1 Pa.C.S.A. s 1501 et seq. Section 1933 provides:
Whenever a general provision in a statute shall be in conflict with a special provision in the same or another statute, the two shall be construed, if possible, so that effect may be given to both. If the conflict between the two provisions is irreconcilable, the special provisions shall prevail and shall be construed as an exception to the general provision, unless the general provision shall be enacted later and it shall be the manifest intention of the General Assembly that such general provision shall prevail.
 Preliminarily, we note that we divine no "manifest intention" of the legislature that Section 4902 of the Crimes Code is to prevail over Section 3502 of the Election Code. Indeed, it has been observed that "this (Crimes) Code does not apply to or include offenses in other distinct areas of the law where an offense is defined and the penalty therefor is provided, such as the Vehicle Code, Liquor Code, etc." Toll, Pa. Crimes Code Annotated, p. 25 (1974). Since the Election Code establishes its own comprehensive scheme of offenses and penalties, 25 P.S. ss 3501-3553, it would seem that the legislature intended to accord special treatment to this area of criminal conduct to the exclusion of the more general provisions of the Crimes Code. Moreover, the legislature has recently amended certain sections of the election laws penalty provisions,[n. 4] thus manifesting its intention that the Election Code remains viable and should continue to govern whenever the misconduct appertains to elections. We thus conclude that the Crimes Code was not meant to prevail over the specific penalty measures of the Election Code.[n. 5]

  [p.107]  The conflict between the two sections is best resolved, we think, by construing the special provision (s 3502) as an exception to the general (s 4902). It is, in fact, the policy of the law not to permit prosecutions under the general provisions of a penal code when there are applicable special provisions available.