FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 21, 2020
Former House Majority Leader Rep. Dave Reed & former U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy will serve as co-chairmen of statewide coalition, which includes all former living Pa. governors
HARRISBURG, Pa. – VoteSafePennsylvania today launched its statewide campaign to ensure that all Pennsylvania voters have access to safe voting options in the upcoming November election. The bipartisan coalition is led by former Republican House Majority Leader Dave Reed and former Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, who also served as Undersecretary and acting Secretary of the U.S. Army.
All five of Pennsylvania’s former living governors have signed on to endorse the initiative, as have several other current and former elected officials and organizations.
“It is highly unlikely that polling locations will operate as usual in November, or that the voting experience will be anything close to normal, given the lingering effects of COVID-19,” said Reed, co-chairman of VoteSafe PA. “We need to do all we can to ensure Pennsylvania voters have accessible, secure mail-in ballots and safe, in-person voting sites. The health and safety of Pennsylvanians is paramount, so every voter feels protected and safe to participate in the upcoming General Election.”
Several current and former elected officials, as well as nonprofit organizations and health-care professionals, have joined VoteSafe Pennsylvania to advocate for secure mail-in ballots and safe in-person voting sites amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The coalition is working to raise awareness among Pennsylvania residents so they know what voting options are available to them under the state’s constitution and according to county election laws.
“Since the Civil War, members of our Armed Forces have consistently voted by mail. I have full confidence that our election officials are taking proactive steps to keep voters safe and ensure the integrity of our elections,” said Murphy, co-chairman of VoteSafe PA. “Whether it’s an elderly grandparent, a loved one who is immunocompromised, or simply someone who is fearful about contracting COVID-19, every Pennsylvanian needs to know they do not have to jeopardize their health to vote.”
Among the early leaders to endorse the VoteSafe Pennsylvania principals and join the coalition:
- Former Gov. Tom Corbett
- Former Gov. Ed Rendell
- Former Gov. Mark Schweiker
- Former Gov. Tom Ridge
- Former Gov. Dick Thornburgh
- Former Lt. Gov. Mark Singel
- Former Congressman Phil English
- Former Congressman Jim Greenwood
- Former Congressman Jason Altmire
STATE, COUNTY, LOCAL
- Bucks County Commissioner and Former State Representative, Gene DiGirolamo
- Mayor Matt Pacifico, City of Altoona
- Former Speaker Dennis O’Brien, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- Former Speaker Keith McCall, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- Former State Senator Jane Earll
- Former State Sen. Connie Williams
- Former State Senator John Wozniak
- Former State Representative Jaret Gibbons
- Former State Representative Peter J. Daley, Jr.
- Former Chair of Pennsylvania Republican Party, Alan Novak
- Former Chair of the Pennsylvania Democrat Party, TJ Rooney
- Former President of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) and former Chairman of the Washington County Commissioners, Bracken Burns
- Former Mayor Tom Murphy, City of Pittsburgh
- Former Philadelphia City Commissioner Maurice Floyd
- Former Philadelphia City Councilman Al Taubenberger
- Pennsylvania Health Care Association
- LeadingAge PA
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
- Committee of Seventy
- Hunger-Free Pennsylvania
- Pennsylvania Conservative Energy Forum
Because of the pandemic, the risk to public health could last months. Experts are warning of a second, potentially even larger, wave of infections this fall, even as cases trend upward now. This makes it all the more important for voters to understand their options, including the new option to vote by mail in Pennsylvania.
One in four Americans already votes by mail. That’s 31 million voters who cast ballots by mail in 2018. All states allow some form of absentee voting. Five states already conduct their elections completely by mail.
Despite the many myths about voting by mail, the reality is that mail-in ballots are a safe and secure method, and do not advantage one party over the other.
About VoteSafe Pennsylvania
VoteSafe Pennsylvania is a bipartisan coalition comprised of community leaders, advocates, nonprofit organizations, former elected officials, and election experts who all want the same things—an efficient, accessible, secure mail-in ballot process and safe, in-person voting sites that ensure Pennsylvanians won’t have to risk their health for simply standing in line to vote. VoteSafe Pennsylvania is part of VoteSafe US, a national cross-partisan coalition of elections administrators and organizations that endorse the simple principle that every American has the right to vote safely amidst the pandemic. For more information, go to pa.votesafe.us.
Media Contact: Caitlin O’Connor