AARP Pennsylvania is reminding voters that due to the coronavirus pandemic, Pennsylvania’s 2020 primary election was rescheduled to June 2.
“As the country and our state deals with the uncertainty of COVID-19, many things have changed, but not our right to vote,” said AARP Pennsylvania State Director Bill Johnston-Walsh. “AARP fought to delay this year’s primary election so voters have more time to cast ballots safely.”
He added that the 2020 primary election marks the first time Pennsylvania residents can apply to vote by mail-in ballot. When the Governor signed Act 77 of 2019 into law, it provided for more convenient, secure voting, and allowed more time for Pennsylvanians to register to vote and return their absentee or mail-in ballot. In the midst of COVID-19, to date, more than one million residents statewide have applied to cast ballots from home in this year’s primary election.
While the easiest way to apply for a mail-in ballot is online at votespa.com, applications can also be submitted to county election offices. Either way, voters need to act fast—mail-in ballot applications are required to be submitted by May 26. Completed ballots must be returned to the county election office by 8 p.m. on June 2.
Johnston-Walsh added that voters can also still cast ballots in-person as polls will be open statewide. To help ensure the health of both poll workers and the members of the public who go to a polling location, local election officials are receiving special infection-protection kits in order to maintain a safe environment. Voters are also reminded that some voting locations may have changed due to the pandemic, so they are encouraged to double-check their polling place before heading out to vote. Contact your local county election office or votespa.com to confirm voting locations for this election.
Johnston-Walsh added no matter how they choose to cast ballots, voters age 50 and older are expected once again to be a deciding factor in the election. National exit polls from the 2018 midterms showed 50-plus voters comprised 57% of Pennsylvania’s total electorate.
“Despite the many disruptions and adjustments the coronavirus has brought to our lives, at the end of the day, our primary election will take place during a public health crisis,” said Johnston-Walsh. “It’s important that we provide our 1.8 million members and the 50+ population, the information needed so they can exercise their right to vote. Whether they choose to vote by mail or head to the polls, the voices of Pennsylvania’s most powerful voting group will heard on June 2.”
Voters with questions related to Pennsylvania’s June 2 primary election can call the Department of State’s voting-hotline at 1-877-VOTES-PA or visit votespa.com.