How to Vote in Pa. if You’re Diagnosed With COVID-19 Before Election Day
Approximately 6 million registered Pennsylvania voters are planning to vote in person on election day. But with COVID-19 cases surging in the Commonwealth once again, what happens if a voter ready to vote in-person tests positive for the virus? There is a way they can still cast their ballot.
“There’s an emergency absentee ballot provision under the law,” says Kathy Boockvar, Secretary of the Pa. Department of State.
More than 4,000 COVID-19 cases were reported in Pennsylvania over the past two days. The Governor and Health Department have declared the arrival of the fall resurgence of Coronavirus cases.
We’re also now passed the deadline to submit a mail-in ballot. So if a voter is diagnosed with COVID-19 between now and election day, they’ll have to fill out an emergency absentee ballot application.
“There is an emergency absentee provision for an emergency that occurs after the normal statutory deadline right up until election day,” explains Jonathan Marks, Deputy Secretary for Elections and Commissions for the Pa. Dept. of State.
That emergency absentee ballot can be utilized by any registered voter experiencing a last-minute emergency. Any voters finding themselves in this situation would have to fill out an emergency absentee ballot application online and submit it by 8:00PM on election day.
If a voter has to vote by emergency absentee ballot because they have COVID-19, they should be quarantined, which would make that voter unable to submit their emergency ballot in person. But there’s a plan in place for that.
“If you can’t deliver your own balloting materials you can assign a designee to do that for you,” Marks explains.
But here’s another scenario: what if you can’t find a designee to drop off your emergency absentee ballot? Luckily, there’s a plan in place for that as well.
“If you can’t find a designee, the statute actually requires the county election office to have a Sheriff’s Deputy or some county official to deliver the balloting materials for the voter,” says Marks.
For an emergency absentee ballot application, click the following link: https://www.votespa.com/Resources/Documents/PADOS_EmergencyAbsenteeBallotApplication_English.pdf.