Pa. county commissioners call for new election reforms in 2021

Written by on January 18, 2021

Pa. county commissioners call for new election reforms in 2021

By Emily Previti / WITF

January 18, 2021

Chester County election workers process mail-in and absentee ballots for the 2020 general election in the United States at West Chester University, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in West Chester Matt Slocum / AP Photo

The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania released a report last week detailing election reforms that state lawmakers should prioritize during the upcoming year.

CCAP’s report highlights two changes as the most urgent: 

One is to let election workers start processing mailed ballots before Election Day, like almost every other state. 

The other is moving back the deadline for mailed ballot applications from one week to 15 days before the election.

MaryBeth Kuznik is Armstrong County’s election director.

“The state should — and I really think they should — provide the counties with some funding to hire some additional people. They’ve put a lot of requirements on local election officers in the last year or two. There has been some money that came from COVID funding that helped with some of it, but long range, that will go away, and these responsibilities will still be here.”

Kuznik says securing longer-term funding is key to any new reforms and to supporting changes rolled out last year.

The CCAP report also mentions funding as one of seven other election issues that need to be addressed. 

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