This op-ed was originally published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, and was written by Trey Grayson, Co-Chair of the Secure Elections Project.
As Pennsylvania adjusts to its relatively recent role as a swing state, voters across the commonwealth are starting to realize how important it is to run an efficient, trustworthy election process. Thanks to the coronavirus, that task is now a lot harder. While local, state, and federal officials work to prevent a catastrophe in November, it’s time for reporters, editors, and news broadcasters to do the same. The election won’t be normal, and they shouldn’t report on it as if it were normal.
The first thing we should do is dispense with the term Election Day. Thanks to the pandemic, more voters than ever are likely to cast their ballots early or absentee/by mail. Pennsylvania is one of dozens of states that allow any registered voter to vote by mail. But to be counted, ballots must be requested by Oct. 27 and received by Nov. 3.
But the timing is still uncertain — the deadline to request a ballot is Oct. 27, but the ballot has to be received by Nov. 3 to be counted. As the Postal Service warns of possible massive delays, Pennsylvanians would be safer to request and return their ballots early.