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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: March 19, 2020 01:16 PM
From: Senator Anthony H. Williams
To: All Senate members
Subject: Authority to Reschedule April 2020 Primary Election
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation amending the Election Code to give the Governor temporary authorization to move the date of the 2020 primary election.

While the shape of American life over the next several months is unclear, it is becoming increasingly likely that county elections officials will not have ample time to prepare themselves or poll workers for in-person voting by April 28. The County Commissioner’s Association of Pennsylvania has requested that the date of the primary be pushed back, rather than move to a 100% vote by mail system by April 28. Counties require definitive guidance as to what will be expected of them in the coming months regarding elections.

My legislation would amend the election code to provide a one-time authorization for the Governor, in consultation with the four caucus leaders of the General Assembly, to postpone the date of the 2020 primary election to a date not later than 15 days prior to the first nominating convention of a major party. This would allow more time for county officials to provide the necessary training and preparation for well-conducted elections once the coronavirus threat has passed.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation. Any questions or comments may be directed to my legislative director, Kyle Miller, at 717-787-5970 or kyle.miller@pasenate.com.