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May 3, 2022Advocacy Matters

Pennsylvania Primary Election And Designated Agents

Pennsylvania Primary Election And Designated Agents

Disability Matters with Joyce Bender

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

 #AdvocacyMatters Segment

Pennsylvania Primary Election And Designated Agents

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We want to remind voters that primary elections are underway across the country. Indiana and Ohio have primaries today. Pennsylvania joins 4 other states who have scheduled their primaries on Tuesday, May 17. For a complete list of all the 2022 state primary election dates, visit and click on today’s #AdvocacyMatters segment.

In Pennsylvania, Disability Rights Pennsylvania, along with 19 other civil rights organizations, raised concerns about the most recent allegation of “voter fraud” in our state. This most recent allegation is focused on individuals who provide voters with disabilities assistance as a designated agent. In Pennsylvania, a designated agent can legally assist a voter with a disability by returning their mail in ballot at a county drop box.

Some counties have recorded individuals dropping off more than one ballot at a drop box. Some county officials have compared this legal accommodation as “fraud.”

Unfortunately, there is confusion about the law and some agents are not aware of or do not understand the rules and end up helping more than one voter with a disability. These designated agents are not engaging in “voter fraud.”  These are well-intentioned people who are trying to help their loved one’s vote.

Rather than lob accusations of voter fraud at people who mistakenly assist more than one voter with a disability, Pennsylvania counties and the Secretary of State’s office must provide training and create an education campaign about designated agents.


It is important to remember that a voter with a disability can legally use a designated agent to help them vote. Disability Rights Pennsylvania has a fact sheet on the designated agent process. Voters who have questions, want more information, or need to talk about voter intimidation or harassment can contact us at 800-692-7443.


State Primary Election Dates

Disability Rights Pennsylvania Letter on Potential Disenfranchisement of Voters with Disabilities

Disability Rights Pennsylvania’s Fact Sheet on Designated Agents

Pennsylvania Designated Agent Form