New Tech to Vote in the Pennsylvania Primary: Mail-In Ballot

Amélie Lemay, Science & Technology Editor

The Democratic primaries in Florida, Arizona, and Illinois still proceeded as normal this past Tuesday despite many people’s fears about the spread of the coronavirus during the voting process. How do you practice social distancing while standing in line with fifty people, and is it safe to touch the same voting booth as hundreds of others? Simply put, you can’t!

Fortunately for Pennsylvanians, voters now have an option (thanks to the changes brought about by the new Act 77) to vote without having to do so at a physical polling location.

In prior years, Pennsylvanians were required to submit a detailed form with a valid reason if they wanted to vote early with a mail-in ballot. Now, however, the state is allowing all voters to use a mail-in ballot, no reason necessary. This change will apply to all future Pennsylvania elections, not just the Democratic primary.

The process is simple: If you are a registered voter, head to this website to sign up to receive your mail-in ballot. Your ballot will come to your house in the mail, and you simply fill it out and then place it in a mailbox. The deadline to sign up for your ballot is April 21st, a week before the April 28th primary.

Another change brought about by Act 77 is the ability to register to vote until 15 days before the election, instead of 30 days. There is still time to register if you will be 18 years of age by the primaries on April 28th.

Take advantage of the ability to register online to receive a mail-in ballot to avoid possibly spreading or contracting the coronavirus on voting day. Thanks to this, we can practice social distancing while still performing our civic duty.