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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: February 1, 2013 04:38 PM
From: Representative Mark B. Cohen
To: All House members
Subject: Absentee Voting for Senior Citizens

In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that would amend Article VII (Elections) of the Pennsylvania Constitution to provide for absentee voting for individuals who are age 60 or older.

Senior citizens deserve to have the flexibility in choosing how to vote. Several states, including Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas, all provide senior citizens the option of applying for an absentee ballot without excuse. In addition, our neighboring state of Virginia recently passed legislation allowing voters age 65 or older to vote absentee without any excuse other than age.

My legislation provides for absentee voting for individuals aged 60 and above in keeping with the current legal definition of “older adult” in Title 6 (Aging) of the Pennsylvania Code. Expanding voting options for this population should lead to greater voter participation. Michigan, whose election laws allow seniors age 60 and above to apply for an absentee ballot without excuse, have a voting participation rate by absentee ballot of 15.4% versus Pennsylvania at 3.1%.

If you have any questions, please contact Kathy Seidl of my office at kseidl@pahouse.net or 787-4117.

Thank you.

Introduced as HB783