Failing to allow election officials to begin processing absentee ballots early will put undue pressure on them on Election Day. Failing to provide more time for processing these ballots also means that it is more likely that Pennsylvanians — and the entire country — will be waiting for days, if not weeks, for the winner of races here to be determined. The sad truth is that an extended period of uncertainty about election results — especially the winner of the presidential race here in Pennsylvania — will only harm the public’s trust in the sacred institutions and election processes that have made our country a beacon of freedom to the whole world.
The good news is that there is still time for legislators and the governor to get this right and help avoid unnecessary delays in tabulating the vote. Now is the time for Pennsylvania to listen to state and local election officials who are saying they need more time to process the deluge of absentee ballots they are expecting because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It would be a shame if the legislature and Gov. Tom Wolf fail to act on this critical issue before Election Day. The time to remedy this problem is now.