2020 presidential election: Over 20,000 Pennsylvanians register for new mail-in ballots
A mail-in ballot option for all voters is just one of the voting changes for Pennsylvania in the 2020 presidential election year. Wochit
It looks like the lines outside of polling places may be a little more bearable this year as more than 20,000 Pennsylvanians have already registered to cast a mail-in ballot in the upcoming primary on April 28, according to Gov. Tom Wolf's office.
The mail-in ballots, part of an election reform law, now allow all voters to vote by mail for any reason.
Pennsylvania joined 31 other states and Washington, D.C. in adopting this "no excuses" ballot, designed to increase voter turnout across the state.
The website to register for a mail-in ballot was live on Feb. 11, and the deadline for county election offices to receive applications is 5 p.m. April 21.
“The immediate popularity of the application site shows that Pennsylvania voters have welcomed the new bipartisan voting reforms and the convenience of mail-in voting,” Gov. Wolf said. “Pennsylvania has joined many other states in giving voters options in how they cast their ballots, making voting easier and more accessible than ever before.”
But, because of the new law, Pennsylvania could head to bed on the night of the 2020 presidential primary without knowing who won the nomination.
That's because under the law, the elections staff cannot touch absentee or the mail-in ballots until after the polls close on election night, and counting those could take hours or longer — even with high speed scanners — because of the canvassing process. Counties have three days to complete the work after election day.
How to apply for a mail-in ballot
Voters can apply for a mail-in ballot online here. Once completed, the application must be mailed to the proper county election office.
Residents can also apply for the ballot and vote in person at their county elections office during business hours.
For more information on voting in Pennsylvania, visit the Department of State’s website at www.votespa.com.
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