Pennsylvania Counties Must Update Policies to Address Increased Provisional Ballot Use

PHILADELPHIA — All Voting is Local Pennsylvania, The Voter Project, and Voter Protection Corps are calling on counties throughout the commonwealth to act now to create policies to decrease the troubling number of provisional ballots — particularly those used by voters who requested to vote by mail.

“An issue we’re concerned about is the high increase in voters who cast ballots provisionally after they requested to vote by mail,” groups wrote. “Out of the 105,000 voters who successfully cast provisional ballots in Pennsylvania, over 83,000 of them requested to vote by mail in the days and weeks leading up to the election. This is an unfortunate duplication of effort, both for voters and for election officials processing ballots.”

In letters sent Tuesday, groups urge commissioners of Beaver, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Dauphin, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Philadelphia, and Northampton counties to adopt the following policies to better prepare for the next election, and avoid inconsistent and unnecessary use of provisional ballots: 

  • Bolster poll worker training materials on provisional ballot distribution.
  • Expand outreach and communication about the vote-by-mail process.
  • Improve voting systems around provisional ballots.

The letters can be found here and the individual letters by county are linked below. 

Beaver County

Berks County 

Bucks County 

Chester County 

Dauphin County  

Lackawanna County 

Lehigh County 

Northampton County

Philadelphia County