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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: February 18, 2021 11:28 AM
From: Representative Tina M. Davis
To: All House members
Subject: Extending the absentee voting deadline
Every year, thousands of Pennsylvanians send in their absentee ballots one, two, or even three days before an election only for their votes to not count. This is because of a detail in Pennsylvania law, which requires that absentee ballots be received by 8pm on the day of an election. In the wake of the unprecedented challenges faced by the United States Postal Service, this rule strips many voters of their right to vote and is one of the more restrictive deadlines in the nation – many other states allow ballots to be returned after Election Day. With the future of the postal service uncertain, this extension is crucial.

To combat this problem, I am introducing legislation to extend the date by which citizens must return absentee ballots. My bill will allow absentee ballots to be received up to six days after the election so long as they are postmarked by Election Day, something that occurs in numerous other states throughout the country.

It makes no sense that individuals voting absentee, which generally includes infirmed citizens and military personnel, are given less time to vote than someone who shows up to the polls on Election Day. Voting is the foundation of our democratic society and is a fundamental right that we should cherish for all eligible citizens.

Support this commonsense piece of legislation and join me in updating an outdated, inconvenient law. Help protect the right to vote.

Introduced as HB808