Gov. Tom Wolf has signed legislation moving Pennsylvania’s presidential primary from April 28 primary to June 2 in response to the continued outbreak of COVID-19 cases.
In addition to moving the date of this year’s primary election, the bill allows counties to begin processing and tabulating mail ballots beginning at 7 a.m. on Election Day, rather than after the polls close at 8 p.m.
The bill also addresses the concerns of county election officials over a potential shortage of poll workers and necessary polling locations, allowing counties to temporarily consolidate polling places without court approval and eases other rules regarding location and staffing of polling places for the primary.
“Delaying this year’s primary election as several other states have done is in the best interests of voters, poll workers and county election officials,” Wolf said in a statement his office released Friday.
Wolf also signed several other COVID-related bills Friday. One of them waives the mandate that Public schools across the state complete 180 days of instruction in a school year and gives Education Secretary Pedro Rivera the authority to cancel state standardized testing, including the Keystone exams and the PSSAs.
Another bill signed by Wolf, grants his administration $50 million to purchase medical equipment and supplies for hospitals, nursing facilities and emergency medical services.
This comes as states are using expired masks and other medical supplies from a federal stockpile.
“This funding will allow Pennsylvania to get more beds, ventilators, and other personal protective equipment that our healthcare system needs for a surge in patients,” Wolf said in a statement.
The governor also signed legislation waiving the one-week waiting period and job search requirements for unemployment compensation.