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§ 3502. Definitions

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated StatutesTitle 25 Pa.C.S.A. ElectionsEffective: December 24, 2012

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated Statutes
Title 25 Pa.C.S.A. Elections
Part IX. Conduct of Elections
Chapter 35. Uniform Military and Overseas Voters (Refs & Annos)
Effective: December 24, 2012
25 Pa.C.S.A. § 3502
§ 3502. Definitions
The following words and phrases when used in this chapter shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
“Active uniformed-service voter.” A uniformed-service voter who meets all of the following paragraphs:
(1) Is:
(i) a member of the active or reserve components of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard of the United States; or
(ii) a member of the National Guard or the Pennsylvania National Guard.
(2) Is on active duty.
(3) Maintains a voting residence in this Commonwealth.
(4) Otherwise satisfies the voter eligibility requirements of the Commonwealth.
“County election board.” Officials having jurisdiction over the conduct of elections in a county under the act of June 3, 1937 (P.L. 1333, No. 320),1 known as the Pennsylvania Election Code.
“Covered voter.” All of the following:
(1) A uniformed-service voter who is registered to vote in this Commonwealth.
(2) An overseas voter who is registered to vote in this Commonwealth.
(3) A uniformed-service voter who is not registered to vote in this Commonwealth but who otherwise satisfies the voter eligibility requirements of this Commonwealth.
(4) An overseas voter who is not registered to vote in this Commonwealth but who otherwise satisfies the voter eligibility requirements of this Commonwealth, including residency requirements.
“Dependent.” An individual recognized as a dependent by a uniformed service.
“Election.” A general election, municipal election, special election or primary election.
“Election Code.” The act of June 3, 1937 (P.L. 1333, No. 320), known as the Pennsylvania Election Code, and the provisions of this title other than this chapter.
“Election district.” A district, division or precinct established under the act of June 3, 1937 (P.L. 1333, No. 320), known as the Pennsylvania Election Code, in which all qualified electors are eligible to vote in the same polling place.
“Federal postcard application.” The application prescribed under section 101(b)(2) of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (Public Law 99-410, 42 U.S.C. § 1973ff(b)(2)).2 The term includes the application's electronic equivalent.
“Federal write-in absentee ballot.” The ballot described in section 103 of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (Public Law 99-410, 42 U.S.C. § 1973ff-2).3
“FWAB declaration.” The declaration which accompanies the Federal write-in absentee ballot.
“General election.” The election which the Constitution of Pennsylvania requires to be held in even-numbered years.
“Military-overseas ballot.” All of the following:
(1) A Federal write-in absentee ballot.
(2) A ballot specifically prepared or distributed for use by a covered voter in accordance with this chapter.
(3) A ballot cast by a covered voter in accordance with this chapter.
“Municipal election.” The election which the Constitution of Pennsylvania requires to be held in odd-numbered years.
“Overseas voter.” A qualified elector who is outside the United States.
“Primary election.” An election held for the purpose of nominating candidates for public offices to be voted for at a general election or a municipal election.
“Qualified elector.” An individual who:
(1) possesses all of the qualifications for voting prescribed by the Constitution of Pennsylvania and the laws of this Commonwealth; or
(2) being otherwise qualified by continued residence in the individual's election district, obtains qualifications under paragraph (1) before the next ensuing election.
“Secretary.” The Secretary of the Commonwealth.
“Special election.” An election authorized by law, other than a general election, a municipal election or a primary election.
“State.” A state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.
“State declaration.” The declaration prescribed by the secretary under section 3503(c)(4) (relating to duties and responsibilities of secretary).
“Uniformed service.” All of the following:
(1) Active and reserve components of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard of the United States.
(2) The United States merchant marine, the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service of the Department of Health and Human Services or the Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States.
(3) The National Guard and the Pennsylvania National Guard.
“Uniformed-service voter.” A qualified elector who is one of the following:
(1) A member of the active or reserve components of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard of the United States who is on active duty.
(2) A member of the United States merchant marine, the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service of the Department of Health and Human Services or the Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States.
(3) A member on activated status of the National Guard or Pennsylvania National Guard.
(4) A spouse or dependent of an individual referred to in paragraph (1), (2) or (3).
(5) A veteran of a uniformed service who is bedridden or hospitalized due to illness or physical disability.
“United States.” When used in the territorial sense, the several states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

Credits

2012, Oct. 24, P.L. 1490, No. 189, § 1, effective in 60 days [Dec. 24, 2012].
UNIFORM LAW COMMENT
The act's definition of the term “covered voter” builds upon the definitions of “absent uniformed service voter” and “overseas voter” in the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (“UOCAVA”), 42 U.S.C. § 1973ff-6(1) [transferred, see now, 52 U.S.C.A. § 20310], but simplifies these definitions and expands them to cover members of the National Guard. However, unlike in the UOCAVA, the act's coverage of uniformed service voters is based on a voter's status as an active member of one of the defined services, whether or not the voter is absent from the place of voting. The definition of “uniformed service voter” does not specify that the place where the voter is qualified to vote be in the enacting state because that would create a problem for a spouse (or dependent) who is eligible to vote in this state but whose uniformed service member is eligible in another state. A uniformed service voter still must meet an enacting state's eligibility requirements (including residency in that state) in order to vote in that state.
The definition of “covered voter,” in paragraph (1)(E), also extends the act's coverage to U.S. citizens born abroad who have not established a voting residency in the United States. Although UOCAVA makes no provision for these citizens, eighteen states already permit these citizens to participate in at least some elections, if their parents are eligible to vote in that state (or in some cases if they are a spouse or dependent of a person eligible to vote in that state). These states include: Arizona, Colorado (federal offices only), Delaware (federal offices only), Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, New York (federal offices only), North Dakota (federal offices only), Oklahoma, Rhode Island (federal offices only), Tennessee, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin (federal offices only).
The definition makes no distinction between overseas voters merely traveling abroad, voters temporarily living overseas, and voters permanently residing overseas. Other provisions of an enacting state's existing law may do so, however, and may limit the elections in which voters permanently overseas can vote. Without such distinctions elsewhere in existing state law, this act would enable all overseas voters to vote in all elections covered in Section 3. Because the act does not require that overseas voters “reside” abroad, it facilitates voting by a wide variety of U.S. citizens, including missionaries, students abroad, and even tourists who because of health or other unanticipated problems or events may have extended their time out of the United States beyond their original plans, but for whom a state's regular absentee balloting process may be difficult to use.
HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES
Uniform Law:
This section is similar to § 2 of the Uniform Military and Overseas Voters Act. See Uniform Laws Annotated, Master Edition, or Uniform Laws Annotated on Westlaw.

Footnotes

25 P.S. § 2600 et seq.
Transferred; see now, 52 U.S.C.A. § 20301.
Transferred; 52 U.S.C.A. § 20303.
25 Pa.C.S.A. § 3502, PA ST 25 Pa.C.S.A. § 3502
Current through 2018 Regular Session Acts 1 to 87, 89 to 94, 97, 105, 107, 108, 111, 115, 124, 128, 131 to 133, 145, 153, 156, 158, 159, 161, 163 and 164
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