PNS Daily Newscast - July 2, 2020 

The White House says no response is planned to reported Russian bounties on U.S. troops; House Democrats unveil an ambitious plan to curb climate change.

2020Talks - July 1, 2020 

Colorado, Utah and Oklahoma all finished up their elections today, and Medicaid expansion in OK appears to have passed. And, a Supreme Court ruling could open the door for more public money to religious institutions.

Time Running Out for PA Voters to Get Mail-In Primary Ballots

Tuesday is the deadline for Pennsylvania residents to apply for a mail-in ballot for this year's primary election. (Scott Van Blarcom/Adobe Stock)
Tuesday is the deadline for Pennsylvania residents to apply for a mail-in ballot for this year's primary election. (Scott Van Blarcom/Adobe Stock)
May 25, 2020

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Tuesday is the last day to submit an application to vote by mail in the Pennsylvania primary.

This primary is the first time Commonwealth residents can apply to vote by mail, and there are choices to be made. Each party has three contenders in the presidential primary and eight of the 18 congressional districts have contested primaries in one or both parties.

Bill Johnston-Walsh, state director of AARP Pennsylvania, says voting by mail gives older voters who may be more vulnerable to the coronavirus a safe, secure way to cast their ballots. And he says their votes do make a difference.

"Whether they choose to vote by mail-in or head to the polls, the voices of Pennsylvania's most powerful voting group will be heard on June 2nd," he states.

So far, more than 1 million Pennsylvania voters have applied to cast ballots from home in this year's primary election. Applications are available online at

Completed primary ballots must be received by the county election office by 8:00 p.m. on June 2. Johnston-Walsh notes that, as in previous years, voters over age 50 are expected to be a deciding factor in this year's elections.

"Exit polls back in the 2018 midterm election showed that the 50-plus voter comprised 57% of Pennsylvania's total electorate, and I believe that that number will be even higher this year," he states.

Due to the pandemic, he adds, some voting locations may have changed, so voters who intend to cast a ballot in person should double-check their polling place.

The coronavirus has brought a variety of disruptions and adjustments to everyone's lives -- including the election process. But Johnston-Walsh emphasizes that participation is critical, even during this public health crisis.

"As the country and Pennsylvania deals with the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, many things have changed -- but not the right to vote," he stresses.

Disclosure: AARP Pennsylvania contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Consumer Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families, Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Andrea Sears, Public News Service - PA