The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has granted an emergency motion in McLinko v. Commonwealth, which challenged Act 77 as unconstitutional. The Court’s order will allow Act 77 to remain in effect while the Court considers the case. Act 77, passed in 2019, was a historic, bipartisan election reform bill that permitted no-excuse vote by mail for the first time in Pennsylvania history
Statement of Common Cause Pennsylvania Executive Director Khalif Ali
Common Cause Pennsylvania welcomes the news that Act 77 remains in effect during the Supreme Court proceedings.
Almost 40% of Pennsylvanians who voted in the 2020 General Election used a mail ballot to cast their vote. That included people from across the political spectrum – more than 600,000 Republicans and almost 300,000 voters not affiliated with a major party cast their ballots by mail in 2020. It also includes almost a million Pennsylvanians who are age 66 and older.
All of these people could have been disenfranchised in the upcoming primary if the Commonwealth Court’s ruling had not been stayed.
Our ‘government by the people’ is stronger when more people participate – and this decision means more Pennsylvanians will be able to vote in the primary – and that’s good news for all of us.
When it was passed, Act 77 was a compromise bill, supported by strong majorities of both parties. It allows voters another option for casting ballots safely and securely.
There should be no controversy about this. We have a government ‘by the people’ – and a huge portion of the people who voted in 2020 chose to vote by mail. Again, we welcome this decision – and urge all Pennsylvanians to make a plan, now, regarding how they plan to vote in the primary.