The More You Know: Proposed PA Bill Would Allow No-Excuse Absentee Ballots

This week we are spotlighting laws proposed by Pennsylvania lawmakers that effect voting rights and elections.

Last year, Rep. Neal Goodman introduced House Bill 417, which deals with no-excuse absentee ballots.

The legislation would permit any qualified elector to vote by absentee ballot for any reason. The procedure for obtaining an absentee ballot would remain the same.

In his co-sponsorship memo, Goodman said:

“In the near future I will be introducing legislation to eliminate the restrictions on voting by absentee ballot contained in Title 25 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes.

Under current Pennsylvania law, individuals may only vote by absentee ballot if they are unable to go to the polling place on the day of the election because of an illness or disability, because they will not be in their municipality of residence, because they are a county official whose duties relate to conducting the election, or because of an observance of a religious holiday.  My legislation would simply remove these restrictions and permit any qualified elector to vote by absentee ballot for any reason.  The procedure for obtaining an absentee ballot would remain the same.” Currently, 27 states and the District of Columbia permit no-excuse absentee voting. It is time Pennsylvania joined these other states in making voting easier for our citizens.

By way of background, there are now 27 states (as well as the District of Columbia) that permit no-excuse absentee ballots.

If you think HB 417 should be moved to the full House for consideration, call your state representative to ask them to support the measure. Not sure who your state legislator is? Click here to find out.

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