Friday, August 13, 2010

Bill Would Universalize Absentee Ballots

A Berks County Senator wants to amend the state constitution so that Pennsylvanians would not need an excuse to vote with an absentee ballot.

Voters can only use absentee ballots if they are in the military, working, sick, or out of town.

But Senator Mike O’Pake of Reading says that leaves many people out.

“Voting is a right. It’s not supposed to be a test of whether you can physically make it to the polling booth,” says O’Pake.

The Democratic Whip says expanding absentee balloting to all would increase voter turnout and bring Pennsylvania into the majority – 28 states currently use “no excuse” absentee balloting.

Since O’Pake’s legislation would amend the constitution, it would need to pass through the legislature in two consecutive sessions before being approved by the governor. Then, the measure would go to the ballot for a voter referendum.

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