Mar. 23, 2020 / Newspaper Columns

By State Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne) 

Pennsylvania voters are reminded that if they have concerns about coronavirus and wish not to vote in their polling place during the April 28 primary election, they can instead request a mail-in ballot, the Commonwealth’s new voting option that allows voters to vote by mail without having to provide a reason.

Registered Pennsylvania voters can apply online to vote by mail-in ballot for the April 28 primary. The deadline for county election offices to receive applications is 5 p.m. on April 21.

Under Act 77 of 2019, Pennsylvania voters have several ways to vote if they choose not to go to the polls or are unable to get to the polls on Election Day: mail-in ballot or absentee ballot, both of which they can vote via the mail or in person at their county election office.

Mail-in ballots are for voters who simply wish to vote by mail before Election Day, instead of going to their polling place. They do not have to give a reason or excuse.

Absentee ballots are for voters who will be away from their home municipality on Election Day or who have a disability or illness that prevents them from going to the polls. Absentee voters must give a reason.

Mail-in and absentee voters will receive a ballot in the mail to complete and must return it to their county election office by 8 p.m. on Election Day. More information on mail-in and absentee ballots can be found at

Voters who are unable to download an application can contact my district office at 570-453-1344 and one will be mailed to them.

Also, under Act 77, Pennsylvanians can now register to vote up to 15 days before an election. The voter registration deadline for the April 28 primary is April 13.

In addition, the Department of State is collaborating with the Department of Health to provide county election officials with guidelines for conducting the safest voting experience possible in

polling places for the primary election. The guidelines include information about sanitizing voting machines and providing sufficient supplies for poll workers and voters to wash their hands and to clean tables, voting areas and equipment such as ballot scanners.

Representative Tarah Toohil
116th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact: Rep. Toohil’s Office
717.260.6136 /