mail-in ballot

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court says it will not grant a quick, pre-election review to a new Republican appeal to exclude Pennsylvania absentee ballots received after Election Day. But the court’s order left open the possibility that the justices could take up and decide after the voting whether a three-day extension to receive and count absentee ballots ordered by the state’s high court was proper. The issue would take on enormous importance if Pennsylvania turns out to be the crucial state in next week’s election and the votes received between Nov. 3 and Nov.

Pennsylvanians Urged To Drop Off Mail-In Ballots In Person

Oct 28, 2020
Matt Slocum / Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — With six days until Election Day, Pennsylvania’s top elections official on Wednesday urged voters in the presidential battleground state who have one of the roughly 1 million mail-in ballots outstanding to drop it off in person rather than mail it.

Matt Rourke / Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A week ahead of the Nov. 3 election, applications in the presidential battleground state of Pennsylvania for mail-in or absentee ballots have exceeded 3 million, with Tuesday the last day to request one and legal wrangling creating uncertainty over the deadline to receive them.

State data shows that, of those applications, more than 57% have been returned to counties.

Pa. Mail Ballots Can't Be Discarded Over Signature

Oct 24, 2020
Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — With concerns rising in Pennsylvania that tens of thousands of mail-in ballots will be discarded in the presidential election over technicalities, officials in the presidential battleground told counties they aren’t allowed to reject a ballot solely because an election official believes a signature doesn’t match the one in the voter’s file.

A satellite election office for Centre County is located at Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State's University Park campus.
Kristine Allen / WPSU

Pennsylvania is a crucial battleground state in the 2020 election. And now, for the first time ever in a presidential election year, mail-in ballots are available to all registered voters in Pennsylvania, without any excuse. That means there is now actually a way for you to vote early in person.

Your polling place in won’t be open until Nov. 3.  But between now and Tuesday, there is a place you can go to vote early. 

Talks On Critical Election Legislation In Pennsylvania Stall

Oct 15, 2020
Matt Slocum / Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Closed-door talks on legislation seen as crucial to producing a prompt election result in the presidential battleground state of Pennsylvania appeared stuck Thursday between the Democratic governor and the Legislature’s House Republican majority.

In a statement to The Associated Press, Gov. Tom Wolf’s office said an offer extended in recent days to House Republican leaders has been effectively rejected, now less than three weeks before Election Day.

Pennsylvania Becomes A Battleground Over Election Security

Oct 14, 2020
Matt Slocum / Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — For anxiety over voting and ballot counting in this year’s presidential election, it’s hard to top Pennsylvania.

Election officials in Philadelphia, home to one-fifth of the state’s Democratic voters, have been sued by President Donald Trump’s campaign, blasted by the president as overseeing a place “where bad things happen” and forced to explain security measures after a theft from a warehouse full of election equipment.

Mail-In Ballot Requests Pass 2.6 Million In Pennsylvania

Oct 13, 2020
Matt Slocum / Associated Press

 

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — With three weeks to go before the Nov. 3 election, more than 2.6 million registered voters have applied for a mail-in ballot in Pennsylvania, a battleground state hotly contested by President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Pennsylvania Counties Push For Changes To Mail Ballot Law

Sep 29, 2020
Matt Slocum / Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania's counties are pressing lawmakers and Gov. Tom Wolf to allow them to process mail-in ballots before Election Day in the battleground state as they consider the prospect of waiting until polls open to dig into 3 million envelopes. Allowing counties time to process mail-in ballots before Election Day remained stuck Tuesday in a wider partisan dispute between the Democratic governor and the Republican-controlled Legislature.

GOP Takes Pennsylvania Court's Ballot Deadline To Supreme Court

Sep 28, 2020
J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to put a hold on a court ruling in the battleground state that extends the deadline in November's election to receive and count mailed-in ballots. In Monday's filing, Republicans argue that the three-day extension violates federal law that sets Election Day as the first Tuesday in November and that such a decision constitutionally belongs to lawmakers, not the court.

Republicans Lose A Round In Pa. Mail Voting Dispute

Sep 25, 2020
Keith Srakocic / Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has dealt a blow to Republicans in the legal fight over the deadline for mailed ballots in the presidential battleground state. The court rejected without comment Thursday a request by Republicans to put on hold its decision to extend the deadline for receiving and counting mail-in ballots. Republicans are now likely to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to block the ruling. The divided Pennsylvania high court last week granted the Democratic Party's request to order an extension of Pennsylvania's Election Day deadline to count mailed ballots.

Court Decisions Didn't End Pennsylvania Voting Law Fight

Sep 20, 2020
Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Nov. 3 presidential contest will test Pennsylvania's ability to handle a massive mail-in vote and, while its high court settled several partisan points of dispute over how to update the state's election law, counties remain unprepared in several important ways. Plus, the legal challenges are not necessarily over.

Mailed Ballots Can't Be Discarded Over Signature, Pa. State Officials Say

Sep 15, 2020
Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — With concerns rising in Pennsylvania that thousands of mail-in ballots will be discarded in the presidential election over technicalities, state officials told counties that they cannot reject a ballot solely because an election official believes a signature doesn't match the signature in the voter's file. The new guidance from Pennsylvania's Department of State also prompted the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania and the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh to drop a lawsuit in federal court Monday.

Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press

In Pennsylvania, it used to be that you needed an excuse to vote by mail. You had to apply for what’s called an “absentee ballot.”  But in this presidential election year, things are different.  Act 77, signed into law last fall, allows any registered voter in Pennsylvania to choose to vote by mail-in ballot instead of going to the polls on election day.

 

Pennsylvania Asks Court To Extend Mail-in Voting Deadlines

Aug 14, 2020
Matt Rourke / Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Gov. Tom Wolf's administration is asking the state Supreme Court to extend deadlines for mail-in ballots in the November election.  Pennsylvania will be a premier presidential battleground in the race between President Donald Trump and Vice President Joe Biden.

The filing, submitted late Thursday, cited a letter dated July 29 by the general counsel of the U.S. Postal Service, Thomas Marshall. In it, Marshall warns that Pennsylvania's election-day deadline for mail-in ballots is "incongruous" with the postal service's delivery standards.

A sign that says "vote here" outside of the State College Borough building
Min Xian / WPSU

Primary election results are completed a week after the election and, in Centre County, voter turnout nearly matched the 2016 primary’s number. 

According to unofficial totals posted by the county, more than 36% of registered voters voted in last Tuesday's primary. In 2016, it was 37%.

In-person turnout for the primary election Tuesday was low in Centre County.
Min Xian / WPSU

In-person turnout for the primary election Tuesday was low in Centre County. Many voters opted to vote by mail, an option significantly expanded last year and especially encouraged because of COVID-19.

Jordan Emely is a judge of elections in State College. About ten percent of the voters registered in his precinct had sent in their mail-in ballots before the primary.