|A couple of weeks ago I attended State Representative Chris Rabb’s Act 77 – Early Voting Policy Hearing. As we now navigate through this current of climate of social distancing, the new PA legislation allowing the option of early/mail in voting has become even more of a necessity. |
As more of us now consider the option of early/mail in voting we wanted to provide you with information and resources regarding the new provisions to ensure everyone understands how our new early voting legislation works.
At this time, the date of the PA primary election is Tuesday, April 28th. However, in light of COVID-19, consideration is being given to the possibility of postponing the election.
At the time of the hearing there were still some logistical matters that needed to be confirmed both state and city wide. Following are a few takeaways from the hearing. Please note this information is not all inclusive. Please see the resources section below to learn how to get additional official information.
ACT 77 Early Voting Provisions The Voter registration deadline has been reduced from 30 days prior to election to 15 days prior to election.
The last day to register to vote before the upcoming primary is April 13th. Applications must be received (not post marked) by the Voter Registration Office by the deadline.
Voters may register online at www.votesPA.com
Mail in/Early voting hopefully will increase voter “turnout”, allowing people to vote when it’s convenient for them.
PA residents may request a mail in or absentee ballot up to 50 days prior to the election, and as late as 5:00 PM the Tuesday prior to Election Day. Please allow time for the ballot to be mailed to you, so that it can be returned prior to the deadline.
Absentee/Mail In ballots are due to the county board of elections office by 8:00 PM on Election Day. PA residents can apply for early voting in person at the county election office and vote on the same day.Logistical matters to be aware of;Mail In ballots may be requested 50 days (March 10thThe way the act currently reads, early ballots may not be counted until 8PM on Election Day. Measures are being taken to determine if the count can begin earlier in the day, i.e. 12 noon. It is unclear when results would be available.
Once a mail in ballot has been requested, the person is no longer eligible to vote in person at their regular polling location on Election Day, except via provisional ballot. If the voter, never submitted their mail in ballot, they will have two (2) optionsComplete a provisional ballot until status of the mail in ballot has been confirmed; OR hand deliver their ballot to the County Board of Elections by 8:00 PM on election day (April 28th)
Voters may request ballots on line at www.votespa.com
FYI – at this time there is no automatic confirmation that a mail in ballot has been received, however a voter can call the county board of elections to confirm receipt of the ballot.
Phila. County Board of Elections
Room 142, City Hall
Phila. PA 19119
Voter Registration Office
520 N. Columbus Blvd, 5th floor
Phila. PA 19107