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Coleman, Dush Propose Option For Voters To Change Mind On Mail Votes

Mail-In Ballot

Just when you think Pennsylvania is finally settling into the idea of no-excuse mail-in balloting, a pair of Republican state senators are proposing another change to the system.

Jarrett Coleman (R-Lehigh/Bucks) and Cris Dush (R-Cameron/ Centre/Clinton/Elk/Jefferson/McKean/Potter) are circulating a co-sponsorship memoranda that would establish the primacy of the in-person ballot. What does that mean? Well, what if the voter wants to choose another candidate after casting their mail ballot?

Despite the fact that when a no-excuse mail ballot is received by an elections office it is treated in the same manner as an in-person vote, the senators are calling for an option for voters to “change their mind if new information comes to light about their preferred candidates.”

In some respect, Coleman and Dush are looking to go back to the future. The memoranda reads that prior to Act 77, “voters who had voted an absentee ballot were afforded an opportunity to appear at the polls, void their absentee ballot, and vote in person.

“Since the passage of Act 77, any voter who requests a mail-in ballot is forced to cast a provisional ballot. If that voter’s mail-in ballot is timely received by the county, the provisional ballot is not counted and the mail-in ballot is counted. Effectively, this gives primacy to the mail-in ballot by creating a situation where if both a mail-in ballot and an in-person ballot are cast in a voter’s name, the mail-in ballot is the ballot that is counted.”

There may be another reason for the proposal legislation – election integrity. Dush, the chair of the Senate’s State Government Committee, and Coleman write that “For many of our constituents, casting an in-person ballot also offers a sense of security for a second reason too. It is extremely difficult for a person to fraudulently cast an in-person vote for an elector and deprive that elector of their right to vote.

“We owe it to Pennsylvania voters to ensure they have the freedom to change their mind up to election day and recognize the security that comes along with casting an in-person ballot.”

4 Responses

  1. This idea is yet again another stupid end run around the will of the voters and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court! I was drunk and once more drunk voting. I was so drunk on that Democratic micro brew “Jerry Brown Hippie Ale” or was it “Gavin Newsome Light” that I voted for all Democrats! I’ll be thrown out of Dush’s bowling league. Gotta change this vote and thank goodness we have a law that allows it!

    1. Let me see if I understand your point. Counties can contact mail in voters to correct ballots that do not comply with the law. But early voters shouldn’t have the opportunity to correct their ballot if last minute information reveals something about the candidate they voted for? That has always been the big issue with mail in for me. We have changed voting from being a snap shot in time to a rolling count. Voters might not yet have all of the information they need to cast an informed vote if they vote weeks before Election Day.

  2. I don’t think this is a bad idea. New information can come to light on a candidate in the final weeks of the campaign.

    1. The new information being he/she mistakenly voted for these two knuckleheads. This idea is like flatulence in a church pew but on second thought that is not fair to church pews!


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