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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 29, 2019 12:41 PM
From: Senator Lisa Baker
To: All Senate members
Subject: Permanent Absentee Voter Status
Please join me in co-sponsoring legislation amending Title 25 (Elections) to eliminate the requirement for disabled voters with permanent absentee voter status to submit a written statement every four years asserting that they remain disabled in order to continue to qualify for the program. Last Session, Senate Bill 263 passed the Senate unanimously.

Currently under the law, a voter who is permanently disabled or bedridden and is unable to attend the polls or operate a voting machine, with the certification of an attending physician, may be put on a permanently disabled absentee ballot list. The voter is automatically mailed an absentee ballot for each primary and general election, as long as a vote is cast in each prior election.

A disabled voter is not required to file a physician’s certificate of disability with each application, but is required to submit a written statement every four years asserting their continuing disability.

Because the law also provides that the county board of elections of the county of residence must be notified if the voter no longer claims a permanent disability, the additional requirement to submit a written statement is a burdensome responsibility that should be eliminated.

Previous co-sponsors were Senators Boscola, Brewster, Costa, Fontana, Haywood, Killion, Langerholc, Tartaglione and Vogel.

Thank you for your consideration.

Introduced as SB345