Absentee Voting

Pennsylvania has relatively restrictive voting regulations for casting an absentee ballot.

A voter is eligible to cast an absentee ballot if they are unable to make it to the polls on Election Day for one of the following reasons listed here.

Link to site: http://www.votespa.com/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=1174088&parentname=ObjMgr&parentid=7&mode=2

None of ten reasons that Pennsylvania accepts as valid for requesting an absentee ballot cover men or women who are taking care of an elderly friend or relative or a child.

Pennsylvania has the third largest aging population in the nation, with 15 percent of Pennsylvanians currently aged 65 or older.  In Pennsylvania, 1.39 million family care-givers serve adults requiring long-term care at any given time. The typical caregiver of adults is a woman in her mid to late forties, who contributes at least twenty hours per week of unpaid care for an aging relative with long-term health conditions while simultaneously working outside the home.  However, being a caregiver, is not a valid reason to request an absentee ballot, which greatly disenfranchises women who not only are more likely to be a caregiver to an elderly family member, but also who provide up to two thirds more child care than their husbands.

Although Pennsylvania has not yet recognized the importance of facilitating working mothers and caregivers to vote with greater ease, more than half of states now offer “no-excuse” absentee voting, and others allow individuals to register as permanent absentee voters, automatically receiving a mail ballot for every election.

Author: WVPA

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