Rep. Goodman, longtime proponent of no-excuse absentee voting, hails House passing bill allowing mail-in balloting

HARRISBURG, Oct. 29 – Legislation initially introduced by state Rep. Neal P. Goodman that would allow Pennsylvanians to vote from their homes passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives today.

“People do not like to be harassed when they vote,” said Goodman, who first introduced no-excuse absentee voting legislation in 2013. “Senate Bill 421 would allow people to avoid confrontations at the polls by permitting them to vote in the comfort of their home where they can make rational decisions.”

The legislation was included in S.B. 421, which addressed several other voting issues. The bill would have to pass the state Senate and be signed by Gov. Tom Wolf before becoming law.

Under current Pennsylvania law, people may only vote by absentee ballot if they are unable to go to the polling place on the day of the election because of an illness or disability, because they will not be in the municipality where they live, because they are a county official whose duties relate to conducting the election, or because of an observance of a religious holiday. Language in S.B. 421 would allow voters to vote by an official mail-in ballot. People would obtain a mail-in ballot through their county election office by providing their date of birth, their voting district and amount of time they have lived there, their party choice if voting in a primary election, and their name.

Goodman said he is hopeful the Senate will pass the bill and thanked Wolf for working to have the mail-in ballot provision included in the bill.