Webster, Kenyatta Propose Legislation to Clarify, Streamline Mail-In Voting Process

Mail Ballot Declaration

After four statewide elections since 2020, there is one thing that Republicans and Democrats can agree upon when it comes to mail-in voting in Pennsylvania.

It needs to be improved.

State representatives Joe Webster (D-Montgomery) and Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia) are offering a solution.

While they agree that mail-in and drop-off voting makes the democratic process more accessible for eligible voters in every region throughout our state, it has been a source of confusion and contention. In response to what they say is a lack of clear guidance from the state legislature, the duo is proposing legislation that would clarify and streamline the mail-in voting process in the Commonwealth.

  • Change the term “permanent” mailing list to “annual” mailing list to better reflect its operation and purpose.
  • Change the deadline to apply for a mail-in or an absentee ballot from the current deadline of 7 days before Election Day to 12 days before Election Day, ensuring the postal service has sufficient time to deliver ballots.
  • Eliminate the requirement for the use of secrecy envelopes, making the choice to use the envelope at the discretion of the voter.
  • Clarify that the requirement to sign and date a mail-in or absentee ballot means to include the date of the voter’s signature, and clarify that failure to date a ballot cannot be the sole grounds to disqualify a ballot.
  • Statutorily provide counties the authority to use ballot drop boxes and establish minimum requirements for counties that choose to use them.


Such legislation would clarify some of the issues raised by the decision of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

In the majority opinion issued recently by Justice David Wecht, he clearly affirmed the directive that undated mail ballots cannot be counted. Wecht wrote that “county boards of elections retain authority to evaluate the ballots that they receive in future elections … for compliance with the Election Code.”

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