Pennsylvania hoping to ease absentee ballot problems using online applications
Pennsylvanians who need absentee ballots will now be able to apply online, starting with this year's municipal elections. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf announced the new system on Monday, a week before the applications open, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Pennsylvania's deadlines to apply for and return absentee ballots are three days apart, and in previous elections, voters have failed to make the turnaround, leaving thousands of ballots uncounted — more than just about every other state. Wolf said he hopes the change "will make the process faster and more accessible for thousands of voters."
Marginal improvements have been made to help voters understand the questions posed to them on the ballot this November, a new study concludes, but such ballot measures still favor the college-educated — who represent a minority of the U.S. population.
This year voters in eight states will decide the fate of a collective 36 such propositions. In a study released Thursday, Ballotpedia assessed how easy it is to comprehend what each proposal would accomplish, concluding that the difficulty level had decreased compared with the referendums decided in the last off-year election of 2017 — but not by much.
In fact, according to a pair of well-established tests, 21 of the 36 ballot measures cannot be understood by the 40 percent of the voting-age population who never attended college.
Colorado has become the second state to ask the Supreme Court to decide if states may legally bind their presidential electors to vote for the candidate who carried their state.
The issue of so-called faithless electors is the latest aspect of an increasingly heated debate about the virtues and flaws of the Electoral College that has blossomed, especially among progressive democracy reform advocates, now that two of the past five presidential winners (Donald Trump in 2016 and George W. Bush in 2000) got to the Oval Office despite losing the national popular vote.