Pennsylvania offering primary write-in ballots for voters with disabilities

Pennsylvania

Chet Harhut, deputy manager, of the Allegheny County Division of Elections, wheels a dolly loaded with mail-in ballots, at the division of elections offices in downtown Pittsburgh Wednesday, May 27, 2020. The once-delayed June 2, Pennsylvania primary will feature legislative and congressional races, a first run for some new paper-record voting systems and the inaugural use of newly legalized mail-in ballots. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Department of State will be providing accessible write-in ballots for voters with disabilities who request one.

Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar made the announcement on Thursday which follows after U.S. District Court Judge Jennifer Wilson issuing an order that mandated the department offer write-in primary ballots for voters with disabilities who request one.

“These ballots will allow blind and low-vision voters to vote privately and independently in Tuesday’s primary,” Boockvar said. “We are committed to increasing accessibility for voters with disabilities and implementing a long-term solution for accessible ballots for the November election and beyond.”

To qualify for an accessible write-in ballot, the voter must have done either of the following:

  • Be an eligible Pennsylvania voter who applied for an absentee or mail-in ballot by May 26, but as not yet submitted their voted ballot
  • Submit an email request to ra-awib@pa.gov for the ballot by 8 p.m. on May 29
  • Complete an accessible declaration electronically sent and authenticate the declaration with a valid PA driver’s license, PIN, or last four digits of Social Security number

The department will then email the voter an accessible write-in ballot, a declaration form, instructions, candidate list for the voter’s district, and a write-in envelope.

Using screen reader software, voters can then vote, print their ballot, and return it to their county elections office.

Counties must receive a voter’s ballot by 8 p.m. June 2.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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