Last updated: Oct 22, 2020

Pennsylvania

Memos

These graphs document important trends related to absentee ballots in Pennsylvania.

Data / October 22, 2020
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This follow-up report takes a closer look at the challenges faced in adapting election procedures for the pandemic during the June primary elections, and provides commentary on the state's overall readiness for the November federal election.

Memo / August 17, 2020
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This memo addresses a few key questions about voting trends:

  • How did voters in Pennsylvania respond to voting against the backdrop of COVID-19 and statewide protests (turnout, vote mode, and voter registration) in their June 2 primary election?
  • How did Pennsylvania voting behavior differ by race, age, sex, party, and first-time voter status?
  • Finally, with a dramatic increase in mail voting and challenges related to processing mail-in ballot requests, what can we learn from data gathered about mail ballot rejection reasons and qualitative voter surveys in preparation for November?
Memo / August 20, 2020
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This report details how Pennsylvania has adapted its election infrastructure to the challenges of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and identifies remaining issues election officials must address before the November 2020 presidential election.

Memo / June 25, 2020
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Latest Updates

Pennsylvania Updates and Election News:

10/19/20 - Ballot Deadline: The Supreme Court has upheld the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's decision to allow ballots to be counted as long as they are mailed by Election Day and received three days after Election Day.

10/3/20 - Voter Registration Backlog: Due to a shortage of DMV employees, Pennsylvania is experiencing a massive backlog in voter registration processing. Some people who registered months ago have yet to have their registration processed.

9/21/20 - Ballot Security Decision: A recent decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court requires officials to reject ballots without two envelopes: ballots must be inserted into a "secrecy envelope" that is then placed into a second envelope that the voter signs. This ruling would reject ballots without the "secrecy envelope." In response, some officials are concerned about "electoral chaos" and the possibility of tens of thousands of rejected ballots.

9/17/20 - Litigation Update: In a series of multiple rulings, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court (1) allowed mail ballots to be counted if received by election officals by 5 p.m. on the Friday after Election Day, (2) allowed for the use of drop boxes to return mail ballots, and (3) removed Green Party Candidate Howie Hawkins from the ballot.

9/16/20 - Poll Worker Surge: Poll worker recruitment has ramped up significantly since the June primary, with 35,000 applications received in just three months. Pennsylvania needs between 40,000 and 45,000 poll workers to run a general election.

9/15/20 - Signature Matching Change: Ballots will no longer be rejected because of signature matching issues, based upon new guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of State.

9/14/20 - Ballot Delays: While ballots were intended to be mailed out on September 14th, due to litigation, namely whether or not to allow the Green Party on the ballot, election officials now expect ballots to be mailed no earlier than late September.

State Resources