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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: December 29, 2022 12:04 PM
From: Senator Michele Brooks
To: All Senate members
Subject: Managing Confusing Third-Party Mail-In Ballot and Absentee Ballot Mailings
I was contacted by a constituent who was rightfully confused and alarmed when receiving the attached mailings (information redacted for privacy purposes), with inaccurate information – One appearing to be directly from the Governor’s office, and one that appears to be from Luzerne County, in which the constituent does not reside.
Upon checking with the PA Department of State in order to offer this constituent some clarification and peace of mind, my office was informed that the mailing was not sent by the Department, nor the Governor’s office, and that third-parties can send mailings to voters with an application to submit to receive a mail-in or absentee ballot, and that they have heard from other voters who received similar forms, also with incorrect information.
This can be very confusing for voters, who may not know if they have to return these forms as they appear to have been sent from an official office.  Or, should they return them, they not get to the appropriate place and the voter may miss their opportunity to cast their ballot  Therefore, I will be introducing two pieces of legislation to address this issue.

View Attachment

Document #1

Introduced as SB1050

Description: This bill will prohibit any third-parties from mailing out any form or application that appears to be an official submission for an absentee or mail-in ballot.  Should a third-party violate this, they can face penalties in the form of a fine.

Document #2

Description: This bill would allow third-parties to send out reminders or information as to how to obtain an absentee or mail-in ballot, but that if they do mail out such a reminder, they have to clearly and boldly state at the top of the document that it is not an official document, and identify who the mailer is from.  The third-party document may not mimic any official capacity, including a return mailing address of any governmental office, agency or elected official.  As you can see from the attached document that my constituent received, the return address says Governor Tom Wolf (with a Philadelphia address) and appears to be on the Governor’s letterhead as well.  This would be strictly prohibited under this legislation and again, any third-party that violates this can face penalties in the form of a fine.