The More You Know: Emergency Ballots

Election Day is almost here and we are expecting a great turnout at the polls, given the extraordinarily high number of voters who have registered all over the state (as well as all over the nation).  In consideration of this turnout, voting rights groups have been working to make sure proper precautions are taken in case voting machines malfunction.  Such situations posed a problem during the Pennsylvania primary election in April as some voters received emergency paper ballots, others waited hours to cast their vote, and some were simply told to try again later.  Such a hindrance in the voting procedure threatens people’s right to vote and have each vote count.

Luckily, there is a solution to these problems: emergency ballots. Although every county Board of Elections in Pennsylvania stipulates that all machines in the precinct must be inoperable before the distribution of emergency ballots, voters should request emergency ballots if they find that any malfunctioning voting machines are standing in the way of their vote.

For more information on emergency ballots, voting, or to report voting problems you can contact the Election Protection Coalition by calling 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

To learn more about specific Election Day procedures in Pennsylvania or to find your polling location you can go to the PA Voting Resources page on the Department of State’s website.

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1 Response to The More You Know: Emergency Ballots

  1. Lauren says:

    Thanks for the attention to this issue. On October 29th, following a decision in NAACP v. Cortes, a lawsuit in federal court, poll workers were directed to issue emergency ballots immediately when 50% of voting machines in a precinct were inoperable. The Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia was co-counsel in this case representing the NAACP, and individual voters – more on the Law Center’s website:

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