Decision 2020

Pennsylvania Voters Will Begin Receiving Mail-in Ballots Soon, Officials Say

Counties can now begin printing the ballots and send them out as soon as possible after the state gave final approval Thursday. More than 600,000 voters have asked already for mail-in ballots in southeastern Pennsylvania.

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Mail-in ballots will soon go out to voters in Pennsylvania after the state immediately certified them following a ruling by the state Supreme Court that finalized the forms.

A spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of State said ballots were certified Thursday and the 67 counties were notified.

"Following the PA Supreme Court ruling this morning, the secretary certified the ballot and counties have already been notified," State Department spokesman Wanda Murren said in an email. "Counties have been doing all they could to prepare as they awaited this ruling. Now, each county will be sending their ballot for printing over the next several days."

Once the ballots are printed, county election offices will mail them out to voters.

More than 600,000 voters in Philadelphia and the surrounding Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties have already requested mail-in ballots for the Nov. 3 presidential election.

That includes 270,000 requests in Philadelphia alone. City Commissioner Al Schmidt, one of three elected officials who oversees elections in the city, said the certified ballots were approved Thursday and will be sent to the printer Friday.

Schmidt said voters should expect them to start being mailed in eight to 10 days.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled earlier Thursday that the Green Party would be excluded from the ballots in the presidential election after a challenge by the state's Democratic Party.

That was the last holdup before the state could certify the ballots.

The ruling was seen as a win for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. In 2016, President Donald Trump won Pennsylvania by 44,000 votes over Hillary Clinton. That was less than 1% of a margin. In that election, Green Party candidate Jill Stein received 49,000 votes statewide.

Pennsylvania is widely believed to be a must-win state for both Trump and Biden if either is going to win enough Electoral College votes to secure victory.

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