In historic achievement, Act 77 has recently passed to improve voter reform in Pa. Insulators Local 2 sees this opportunity to take action and vote. Politics play a crucial part in the success of unions from certifications on job-sites to safety issues and more. Tom Mulholland, president and organizer of Local 2, says, “ [The] Most important thing is to vote. It’s amazing how politics play a part in our lives, and if we show that we have a membership that goes to vote, then the things that play a critical role of an insulator goes a long way.”
Voter turnout has been an average of 14%, but this new legislation will offer more opportunities to voting, in which has been the most significant improvement to Pennsylvania’s elections in more than 80 years. In gearing up before the primaries, Act 77 will take effect in April 2020 and offer the following benefits: no excuse mail-in voting, 50-day mail-in voting period, permanent mail-in & absentee ballot list, 15 more days to register to vote and extended deadlines of mail-ins and absentee submissions.
Currently, a mail-in vote is required with an excuse for voters using absentee ballots. With no excuse mail-in voting, Local 2 members can mail their vote without providing an excuse with the historic change in voting systems. Pennsylvania has officially joined 31 other states to help make voting more accessible. The change allows voters to request and submit their mail-in or absentee ballot up to 50 days prior to the election, in which has become the longest vote-by-mail period to date. In addition, Local 2 voters can select automatic options to have permanent mail-in and absentee ballot lists. This includes primary, general and special elections held in a given year, and the deadline of voter registration has been extended to 15 days before an election, in which the deadline to register to vote was 30 days before. Also, Act 77 will extend the mail-in and absentee submission deadlines until 8 p.m. on election day, which allows for thousands of votes to avoid rejection based on missing an outdated, restrictive deadline.
Your vote counts, and Act 77 can help change the way union members take action to vote in a more free, accessible manner. To find out more, be sure to visit the Department of State Voter Services for all of your voter resources.