Pennsylvania Statutes Title 25 P.S. Elections & Electoral Districts § 3146.2b. Approval of application for absentee ballot

<Section 14 of Act 2019, Oct. 31, P.L. 552, No. 77 , imd. effective, provides that this Act shall apply to elections held on or after April 28, 2020.>
<Section 17 of Act 2020, March 27, P.L. ___, No. 12 , imd. effective, provides that the amendment of 25 P.S. § 3146.2b(c) by that Act shall apply to elections occurring on or after June 2, 2020.>

(a) The county board of elections, upon receipt of any application filed by a qualified elector not required to be registered under preceding section 1301,  1 shall ascertain from the information on such application, district register or from any other source that such applicant possesses all the qualifications of a qualified elector other than being registered or enrolled.  If the board is satisfied that the applicant is qualified to receive an official absentee ballot, the application shall be marked approved such approval decision shall be final and binding except that challenges may be made only on the ground that the applicant did not possess qualifications of an absentee elector.  Such challenges must be made to the county board of elections prior to the applicable deadline for the absentee ballots to be received, as provided in section 1308(g). 2  When so approved, the county board of elections shall cause the applicant's name and residence (and at a primary, the party enrollment) to be inserted in the Military, Veterans and Emergency Civilians Absentee Voters File as provided in section 1302.3, subsection (b):  3  Providing, however, That no application of any qualified elector in military service shall be rejected for failure to include on the elector's application any information if such information may be ascertained within a reasonable time by the county board of elections.

(b) The county board of elections, upon receipt of any application filed by a qualified elector who is entitled, under the provisions of the Permanent Registration Law as now or hereinafter enacted by the General Assembly, to absentee registration prior to or concurrently with the time of voting as provided under preceding section 1301, shall ascertain from the information on such application or from any other source that such applicant possesses all the qualifications of a qualified elector.  If the board is satisfied that the applicant is entitled, under the provisions of the Permanent Registration Law as now or hereinafter enacted by the General Assembly, to absentee registration prior to or concurrently with the time of voting and that the applicant is qualified to receive an official absentee ballot, the application shall be marked “approved.”  Such approval decision shall be final and binding except that challenges may be made only on the ground that the applicant did not possess the qualifications of an absentee elector prior to or concurrently with the time of voting.  Such challenges must be made to the county board of elections prior to the applicable deadline for the absentee ballots to be received, as provided in section 1308(g).  When so approved, the county board of elections shall cause the applicant's name and residence (and at a primary, the party enrollment) to be inserted in the Military, Veterans and Emergency Civilian Absentee Voters File as provided in section 1302.3 subsection (b).

(c) The county board of elections, upon receipt of any application of a qualified elector required to be registered under the provisions of preceding section 1301, shall determine the qualifications of such applicant by verifying the proof of identification and comparing the information set forth on such application with the information contained on the applicant's permanent registration card.  If the board is satisfied that the applicant is qualified to receive an official absentee ballot, the application shall be marked “approved.”  Such approval decision shall be final and binding, except that challenges may be made only on the ground that the applicant was not a qualified elector.  Such challenges must be made to the county board of elections prior to five o'clock p.m. on the Friday prior to the election:  Provided, however, That a challenge to an application for an absentee ballot shall not be permitted on the grounds that the elector used an application for an absentee ballot instead of an application for a mail-in ballot or on the grounds that the elector used an application for a mail-in ballot instead of an application for an absentee ballot.

(d) In the event that any application for an official absentee ballot is not approved by the county board of elections, the elector shall be notified immediately to that effect with a statement by the county board of the reasons for the disapproval.  For those applicants whose proof of identification was not provided with the application or could not be verified by the board, the board shall send notice to the elector with the absentee ballot requiring the elector to provide proof of identification with the absentee ballot or the ballot will not be counted.

(e) Deleted by 2020, March 27, P.L. ___, No. 12, § 8 , imd. effective.

(f) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, a qualified absentee elector shall not be required to provide proof of identification if the elector is entitled to vote by absentee ballot under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act ( Public Law 99-410, 100 Stat. 924 )  4 or by an alternative ballot under the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act ( Public Law 98-435, 98 Stat. 1678 ). 5

1 25 P.S. § 3146.1.
2 25 P.S. § 3146.8.
3 25 P.S. § 3146.2c(b).
4 52 U.S.C.A. § 20301 et seq.
5 52 U.S.C.A. § 20101 et seq.

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