Gov. Wolf Signs Executive Order
Extending Mail Ballot Deadline in Six Counties to June 9
– Amid a surge in mail-in ballots, the COVID-19 public health emergency and
civil disturbances in six counties, Governor Tom Wolf today signed an
executive order extending the deadline for county election offices in
Allegheny, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties to
receive absentee or mail-in ballots by mail to 5 p.m. June 9, 2020. The
ballot must be postmarked no later than Tuesday, June 2, 2020. The deadline
to hand deliver absentee or mail-in ballots remains 8 p.m. June 2, 2020.
an unprecedented time for Pennsylvania and our nation as we face a major
public health crisis and civil unrest during an election,” said Gov. Wolf.
“Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy and I want to ensure that
voters can cast their ballot and that it is received in time.”
counties included in today’s executive order are part of a disaster
emergency declaration the governor signed Saturday in response to civil
unrest to provide all necessary assistance to the municipalities.
the vast majority of counties have been able to process their applications
and mail their ballots, the volume of applications in the six counties
caused by the COVID-19 crisis combined with the recent civil disturbance
make it necessary to extend the deadline for the counties to receive
completed civilian absentee and mail-in ballots. Curfews, travel
restrictions and other unforeseen circumstances have made returning ballots
more difficult in these counties. The extension will help to ensure that voters
in those counties are not disenfranchised through no
fault of their own.
Mail-in ballots are new to Pennsylvania under Act 77 of 2019, which
Gov. Wolf signed last year as part of the state’s most sweeping election
law improvements in 80 years. The law created the option of mail-in ballots
with no excuse needed, along with later deadlines for voter registration
and for returning mail-in and absentee ballots.
Nearly 1.8 million
Pennsylvania voters have applied for a mail ballot since the onset of COVID-19.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, in March the Pennsylvania
General Assembly passed and Gov. Wolf
signed Act 12 of 2020,
which rescheduled the primary election from April 28, 2020, to June 2, 2020,
to reduce crowding at polling places and encourage voters to use mail-in
time an executive order was utilized to
extend the deadline to return absentee ballots was in 2012 due to Hurricane
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