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Groups call for mail-in voting, in-person early voting, and more


(Harrisburg) — A handful of groups are getting together to push for changes to the state’s voting laws.

The organizations – like Common Cause Pennsylvania, the League of Women Voters, and the Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group – say they’re asking for modest changes.

They want to create a pre-registration system for teenagers to get on the voting rolls before they turn 18, and allow same-day registration for everyone.

Another suggestion is for Pennsylvania to start in-person voting before Election Day — something that 33 states already allow.

“Just allowing people to go somewhere in person and vote early. We know that nurses, in particular, and doctors have a really hard time making it to the polls if they are scheduled for a seven to seven shift,” says Stephanie Monahon, director of PennPIRG.

Monahon and others say unlike other political fights in the state, this doesn’t follow partisan lines.

Experts say an older generation is instead feuding with younger people who say the changes make sense.

Barry Kauffman with Common Cause Pennsylvania tells WITF’s Smart Talk mail-in voting is also on the list.

“We have both systems in Colorado, where Colorado, they’ve just moved to mail-in vote, everybody gets a mail-in vote. But they can still have the community experience of going to the polls if that’s what they choose to do. So it’s not really one or the other, we can do both,” says Kauffman.

Kauffman says Pennsylvania is behind the times when compared to other states in the western U.S.

However, experts say it’s easier to commit voter fraud through the mail or absentee ballots.

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