Senator Tom Killion (R-Chester and Delaware) added his voice to a call from county officials in southeastern Pennsylvania to delay the 2020 Primary Election.
“COVID-19 is an unprecedented public health crisis,” said Killion. “Delaying our primary to June 23rd as suggested last week by county leaders or another date is the prudent thing to do to protect the health of voters, election workers and the integrity of our democracy.”
County commissioners in Bucks, Chester and Montgomery counties, Delaware County Council and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney last week formally requested the primary election be moved to Tuesday, June 23, 2020. The Wolf Administration and legislative leaders have discussed the prospect of moving the primary to Tuesday, June 2, 2020.
While it is unclear whether the governor has the authority under the disaster declaration currently in effect to change the date of the primary, the Pennsylvania Election Code may be amended by act of the General Assembly and approved by the governor.
“Countless polling places are in schools and other facilities shuttered by community mitigation measures,” noted Killion. “Many seniors serve as election workers, and social distancing recommendations may not be lifted for some time. It would not be responsible to not address this matter as the primary is little more than five weeks away.”
“Additionally, our system of government is healthiest when as many people as possible participate in the process. Delaying the primary until June will afford more voters to cast a ballot and make sure their voice is heard.”