Important Information for Voters! Washington County will not allow Ballot Curing; ACLU and PILC Poised to Sue

Posted Apr 18, 2024, by Paul Fedore

Ballot Curing Blog Graphic

As voters, our collective voice shapes the future. Voting by mail is safe, secure, and the most accessible option for many of us.

However, Washington County has recently decided not to allow voters to fix unintentional errors on their absentee/mail-in ballots. This is shameful - knowing that people’s votes will be thrown out over technicalities and small errors but refusing to do anything to help them fix it is not what good neighbors do in Washington County.

CCJ is working with local partners to demand that the County Elections Board reverse their decision immediately. 

In the meantime, it’s crucial that you make sure you fill out your mail-in ballot correctly! 

How to make sure your vote is counted

Mail-in voters in Washington County who have already voted by mail will need to call the County Elections Office at 724-228-6750 or go to the office in person to find out the status of their ballot. 

County Elections Office
95 W. Beau Street, Suite G-10 Washington, PA 15301

If you get a notice that your ballot was received, this does not mean that it was accepted or counted. You need to know that it was not merely received, but accepted. If you find out that your ballot was not accepted, we suggest that you cast a provisional ballot in person if you are able.

If you plan to use your mail-in ballot, follow the instructions very carefully:

Mail In Ballot Instructions

Since it’s so close to election day, delivering it to a drop box or election office is best. If you are able, you may want to vote in person.

What CCJ is doing in response to the County’s decision

CCJ stands ready to help in this process in any way possible to ensure that people are able to cast their votes and have them counted. Please contact us if you have questions or need help getting to the polls. 

We have been very concerned about the decision by the Washington County Elections Board and Commissioners to disallow ballot curing by a vote of 2-1. This deviates from past practice and could disenfranchise hundreds of voters across the county.

Ballot curing allows voters to fix problems with their absentee or mail-in ballots to ensure that their vote is counted. In Washington County, mail-in voters will know if their ballot was received, but not if it is accepted, rejected, counted, or not counted.

The Pennsylvania chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) contends that election officials are silencing voters based on a flawed understanding of a recent federal court decision, and is encouraging them to change course. Yesterday, the ACLU and The Public Interest Law Center (PILC) sent this letter to the County, and may decide to sue. They assert that there is a straightforward solution to notify affected voters and that this move by the County risks violating Washington County voters’ due process rights under the Pennsylvania Constitution.

Both Greene and Fayette Counties will allow ballot curing. 

Greene County will allow ballot curing

If you live in Greene County, watch for notifications regarding the status of your mail-in ballots. You should get a notification or hear from the elections office if your ballot has been rejected or needs to be fixed. You will then need to visit the elections office to cure your mail ballot in order for it to be counted. If you believe you will not have time to do that, you can vote at your polling place by provisional ballot. To check the status of your mail ballot, visit https://www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/Pages/BallotTracking.aspx

As a reminder, all completed ballots must be received by 8pm on April 23rd

For further information or if you encounter any issues with your county elections office or while casting your provisional ballot, please contact our Community Organizer, Paul Fedore, at 412-229-7333 or paul@centerforcoalfieldjustice.org


  • Paul Fedore

    Paul Fedore has been a resident of Washington County since 2016 and previously worked with Washington County United, a chapter of PA United, as a canvasser fighting for economic, environmental, and racial justice. He loves camping, hiking, fishing, and boating. Paul joined CCJ’s team in July 2020 as the Field Program Coordinator to help deepen and strengthen our relationships with communities in southwestern Pennsylvania and to ensure that people have a pathway to engage in improving their communities. As of late 2023, Paul is now a Community Organizer, and is excited to work with everyone to hold fossil fuel companies and our elected officials accountable and to organize to build power in our small towns and rural communities. Contact Paul at paul@centerforcoalfieldjustice.org.

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