Voting rights advocates filed a lawsuit today challenging a Pennsylvania law that makes it difficult for voters to vote by absentee ballot. The plaintiffs include nine Pennsylvania residents, all of whom applied for absentee ballots on time but received the ballots either too close to or after Pennsylvania’s restrictive deadline for returning the ballots.
Pennsylvania law allows voters to apply for an absentee ballot up until a week before Election Day but requires that ballots be received by county election bureaus by 5 p.m. on the Friday before Election Day. According to the lawsuit, which was filed in Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, Pennsylvania has the earliest deadline in the nation for returning absentee ballots. Other than Louisiana and Mississippi, every other state allows voters to submit their absentee ballots on Election Day or to have them postmarked by that date and delivered later.