His proposal may see some resistance. Matt Germer, resident elections fellow at the D.C.-based R Street Institute’s Governance Program told The Pennsylvania Daily Star he would stick with giving primacy to early votes rather than in-person ballots whenever someone submitted both.

“I think at a high level it makes sense that once you have voted, your voting experience is done,” he said. “We don’t want to be in a system where campaigns are encouraged to tell people, ‘Well, hey, you’ve already voted absentee; we want you to go back and vote again in person and flip your vote to our side from their side. I think that kind of incentive structure would be frustrating for voters [and] costly for the campaigns; I don’t think it necessarily promotes confidence in elections.” 

Germer suggested reprioritizing voters’ in-person ballots over their mail-in ones would also burden election administrators who would have to process many more vote sheets. He also said voters who cast a ballot well before campaigns end consciously opt to choose candidates based on what is already known, so allowing them to change their minds should not be a priority.

“That is a trade-off that each individual voter is making,” he said. “They are saying, ‘I am willing to end the information-gathering phase and submit my ballot and enjoy the convenience of doing that… early….’ If that is a priority to that voter — if they want that absolute, last-minute flexibility — they still have the option to go in on Election Day if that works for them.” 

Pennsylvanians wishing to vote by mail in this year’s November 7 election are able to request an absentee ballot up to October 31.