PITTSBURGH All Voting is Local – Pennsylvania Director of Special Projects Aerion Abney issued the following statement in response to today’s Allegheny County Board of Elections’ meeting where they announced that they will not be mailing every voter a ballot application, paying return postage for ballots, operating satellite early voting sites, nor authorizing additional drop boxes for the May 18 primary:

“Allegheny voters are being denied key options to cast their ballots that were available just six months ago.

“County officials once set the standard for running free and fair elections and now they are making it harder for voters to cast their ballots. Allegheny County’s Board of Elections should be focused on increasing access to the ballot so that voters can make a plan that works for them. We urge them to reconsider.”

For weeks, Allegheny County’s elections officials refused to make public how they planned on running the May 18 primary election, despite multiple requests by All Voting is Local and coalition partners. On March 3 and March 26, the groups sent letters to Allegheny County’s elections officials requesting information about how it planned to run the May 18 election and urged a public hearing to inform voters about their voting options. During their public hearing Allegheny Board of Elections announced they will not mail all voters a ballot application, not pay for postage of returned ballots, only use one drop box at the county election office, and will not stand up satellite election offices for early voting.