Increased voting access in Pennsylvania

Posted Feb 6, 2020, by Veronica Coptis


Last fall, Act 77 was passed into law and is the first time Pennsylvania’s election laws were changed in over 80 years. The law allows for more convenient and secure voting, and we want to ensure you know all the ways you can vote in this year’s election.

The biggest change for voters is mail-in voting. Now you may mail in your ballot without needing a reason to submit the absentee ballot. This will increase access for people who do not have transportation to a polling location or who work during the entire time the polls are open. Check out more details on mail-in voting at VotesPA here

The county election offices are still implementing these new changes and the process to request or submit your mail-in ballot is not finalized yet. We will update how you apply for a mail-in ballot through the county elections offices in Washington and Greene once we know the process.  

In addition, the voter registration deadline has been extended to 15 days before the election, and absentee ballots can be turned in until 8:00 PM on Election Day. You will no longer have the option to vote straight party on the ballot, but you can select candidates from one party individually.  

Read more here about changes to how candidates circulate the petition to get on the ballot. 

The law also increases bond funding that will reimburse counties for 60 percent of the cost of new voting systems that are more secure. Check out more changes that relate to county election offices here. 

Please let us know if you have any questions about these changes, and if you plan to vote in 2020. 


  • Veronica Coptis

    Veronica Coptis joined the CCJ staff in March 2013 as a Community Organizer and is now serving as the Executive Director. She grew up in western Greene County near the Bailey Mine Complex and currently lives in the eastern part of the county. Before joining the CCJ staff, Veronica served on the Board of Directors for CCJ and organized with Mountain Watershed Association. She received a bachelor’s degree in biology from West Virginia University. She enjoys hiking and geocaching at Ryerson State Park and other areas around Greene County with her husband and daughters. Read more about Veronica in a New Yorker Magazine profile at https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/07/03/the-future-of-coal-country. Contact Veronica at veronica@centerforcoalfieldjustice.org.

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