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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: May 14, 2020 04:27 PM
From: Representative Christopher M. Rabb
To: All House members
Subject: Extended Deadline for Returning Mail-in Ballots During a Disaster Emergency
Because of changes to election law and because of the COVID-19 pandemic, more Pennsylvanians are voting by mail this year than ever before. This surge in mail-in voting is overwhelming for our counties, and confusing differences in when ballots must be received only worsens the issue. That is why I am introducing legislation to extend the deadline for returning mail-in and absentee ballots during a disaster emergency.
Under my legislation, if an election occurs during a disaster emergency, or within 60 days of the termination of the emergency declaration, counties will be permitted to canvas all absentee and mail-in ballots so long as the ballots are received by 5:00 p.m. on the seventh day after an election. This is what we already do for military-overseas ballots. It only makes sense that we extend this deadline for all mail-in and absentee ballots.
The influx of new mail-in ballots is already overwhelming our counties. The discrepancy in the ballot receipt day creates even further confusion. Join me in supporting this bill and help to resolve this unnecessary disparity in our election laws.

Introduced as HB2532