HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — 1.5 million people voted by mail-in or absentee ballot during the democratic primary in PA. For many, it’s seen as the safest way to vote during the pandemic, and now they’ll get to do it for free.
Governor Wolf announced that Federal Cares Act money will be used to make sure every mail-in and absentee ballot has paid postage. This move could cost several million dollars to cover the 55-cent cost for a stamp for millions of ballots.
There is concern that county polling stations won’t be ready to deal with voters during the pandemic, citing a lack of PPE and inefficient space. Ray Murphy from Keystone Votes Coalition says this move “makes it that much more convenient and secure for voters to make sure their ballot gets back to the place it belongs so their vote can be counted on election day.”
House Republicans say this is just another way the Governor is being reckless with tax money. Jason Gottesman, the spokesperson for the House Republicans, said “The Governor took unilateral action, spent millions of dollars to try to fix a problem that doesn’t really exist.” He says the money could’ve been used instead to make sure polling stations were ready.
Pennsylvania joins 17 other states, with Governor’s on both sides of the party, in promising to pay for mail-in and absentee ballots.