New ways to vote in Pa.

Mail-in, absentee ballots and new voting machines in some counties

  • Scott LaMar

For years, Pennsylvania has trailed other states across the country by not offering ways to vote other than at voting precincts or by absentee ballot. That all changed last fall, when Gov. Tom Wolf signed legislation that allows voters to submit ballots in other ways.

Mail-in voting may be the most significant of the changes. Starting this year, voters can opt to apply for a mail-in ballot with no excuse or reason needed and mail their completed ballot to the state. Other changes include the voter registration deadline has been shortened to 15 days before an election, rather the traditional 30 days. Also, the deadline for a county to receive an absentee ballot is now 8 p.m. on election day.

There are other changes as well and county election directors have expressed concern that there may be additional staff or funding needed. Counties have also cautioned that counting votes and final results may not be available as quickly.

Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar and Deputy Secretary of State Jonathan Marks appear on Wednesday’s Smart Talk to explain the changes and discuss elections in this important election year.

Secretary of State Kathy Bookvar and Deputy Secretary of State Jonathan Marks appear on Smart Talk on February 12, 2020.

Alexandra Stein

Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar and Deputy Secretary of State Jonathan Marks appear on Smart Talk on February 12, 2020.

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Politics & Policy

Pennsylvanians can now apply online to vote by mail, without an excuse