Agreement reached to push back Pennsylvania’s primary election due to coronavirus

Pennsylvania primary will be delayed by weeks due to coronavirus

Pennsylvania voters will have to wait to weigh-in on the presidential election.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers confirmed to Channel 11 on Monday that an agreement is in place to move the state’s primary from April 28 to June 2 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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One source expected state legislators to approve the move Tuesday or Wednesday.

“Counties have been asking for a postponement. It’s tough to train poll workers who are reluctant to come in for training. This is a real issue,” Gov. Tom Wolf said.

That is one of several issues facing election officials, along with new voting rules set to go into effect, making it easier for people to vote with an absentee ballot.

Until now, voters needed an approved reason to vote absentee.

“We knew this was going to be a difficult election anyway because we had new voting machines and we had new laws governing who could vote. We know the people who tend to be the poll workers skew older,” said Pitt political science professor Kris Kanthak.

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Kanthak said she was initially surprised to see Pennsylvania move its primary.

But with several areas including Allegheny County facing a stay-at-home order, she believes it’s the right move.

“I think it makes sense to do it, it would be really difficult to put on a primary now. This changes things,” Kanthak said

Kanthak said counties will be in charge of distributing absentee ballots to those who request it -- something that will likely be much higher due to coronavirus concerns.

Official word on the primary moving to June is expected to come this week.