FACT CHECK: Are Pennsylvania Counties No Longer Accepting Mail-In Ballots?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims Pennsylvania counties are not accepting mail-in ballots.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence to suggest that Pennsylvania counties are no longer accepting mail-in ballots. A Pennsylvania State Department spokesperson denied the claim.

Fact Check:

Social media users have been sharing a claim that Pennsylvania counties will no longer be accepting mail-in ballots. “Pennsylvania counties will not be accepting mail-in ballots,” reads one such post shared on Facebook. One iteration on Twitter received over 5,000 retweets and 24,000 likes.

This claim is false. Act 77, which was signed into law in 2019, allows voters to vote by mail in the state for any reason, according to NPR. Additionally, the Pennsylvania Department of State’s website still states that residents can request a mail-in ballot for the upcoming 2022 general election. The department tweeted July 13 that mail-in ballots were available for the November election.

“Mail-in and absentee ballot applications are NOW available for PA voters. Apply today for the November 8 general election. Apply online: vote.pa.gov/ApplyMailBallot Learn more: vote.pa.gov/MailBallot,” the tweet reads.

Check Your Fact found no credible media reports about Pennsylvania counties no longer accepting mail-in ballots. The viral claim may stem from the fact that Act 77 is currently facing a legal challenge in the state’s Supreme Court, according to The Associated Press. A senior judge of the Commonwealth Court ruled the act was unconstitutional, but the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned that decision in March and kept the law on the books until the higher court could make its own decision, the outlet reported.

Ellen Lyon, a spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Department of State, told Check Your Fact that the claim was “false and an example of disinformation.” (RELATED: Have Texas, Wisconsin And Arkansas Decertified The 2020 Presidential Election?)

“Act 77 of 2019, which established no-excuse mail-in voting in Pennsylvania, remains in effect,” said Lyon. “Eligible voters continue to have the secure and convenient option of mail-in voting in the Nov. 8, 2022, general election.”

Seth Bluestein, a Philadelphia City Commissioner, said he was “not aware of any communication with Philadelphia County about mail-in ballots beyond normal planning for the General Election.” He pointed Check Your Fact to an article from The Federalist, titled “Court Decision May Invalidate Pennsylvania’s No-Excuse Mail-In Vote Law,” about the legal challenges to Act 77 that he suggested may be the source of the viral claim. The Federalist article does not, however, state that mail-in ballots were no longer being accepted by Pennsylvania counties, only that they may be invalidated.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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