August 13, 2020
Secretary of the Commonwealth Withdraws Objection to Extending Ballot Receipt Deadline
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HARRISBURG – In a significant development in the fight to protect the civil rights and health of millions of older Pennsylvania voters, Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar has withdrawn her objection to extending the November 3 election day deadline by which mail ballots must be received. She has asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to issue an order to count all ballots that arrive within three days after November 3.
“The Secretary today recognized that Pennsylvania voters should be able to vote by mail and know that their ballot will be counted,” said Richard Fiesta, executive director of the Alliance for Retired Americans. “This is especially critical for the two million Pennsylvania voters who are over the age of 65 and whose health is most at risk during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pennsylvania seniors need to be able to vote by mail to protect their health and know that their votes will count.”
The case, Crossey v. Boockvar, filed on April 22, 2020 originally in Commonwealth Court, includes four Pennsylvania Alliance for Retired Americana member plaintiffs: Michael Crossey, Dwayne Thomas, Irwin Weinreich, and Brenda Weinreich.
The Alliance for Retired Americans, working with its state chapters, has filed lawsuits to protect vote by mail and absentee voters in Florida, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin, in addition to Pennsylvania this year. The lawsuit is supported by Priorities USA.
Background: The Commonwealth has announced that the number of in-person voting locations will be dramatically reduced from previous elections, which will inevitably mean long waits to vote. A record number of citizens have already requested absentee ballots, significantly increasing the workloads of county election board staff members, who are currently under stay-at-home orders. Meanwhile, the U.S. Postal Service, which will be relied on to deliver more than a million anticipated ballots, is under severe financial and operational pressure, and may be unable to deliver all voters’ ballots in a timely manner.
Contact: Lisa Cutler, firstname.lastname@example.org