Jewish PA Voters Disenfranchised Over Serious Obstacles to Voting in Upcoming Election

Pennsylvania’s Jewish Community Expresses Deep Concern after State Schedules Election Day on Passover and Delays in Receiving Mail-In Ballots in Montgomery County

(Bala Cynwyd, PA) April 17, 2024 –Jewish voters in Pennsylvania are deeply concerned over obstacles they are facing in the upcoming elections. The state-scheduled election day coincides with the first day of Passover, preventing observant Jews from participating in in-person voting. Despite complying with all rules and regulations governing mail-ballot requests, serious obstacles have emerged in Montgomery County which contains a large Jewish population.

With Montgomery County representing 9% of all mail-in ballot requests in the commonwealth, the ballots are unfortunately returning at a rate of 1.18%, compared to 39.69% in the rest of Pennsylvania. This is due to ongoing delays in voters receiving their requested ballot. Many Pennsylvanians who requested to vote by mail have still not received their ballots or are only receiving their ballots now – lagging wait times compared to other counties.

“The fact that many voters have not yet received their ballots is surprising and disheartening,” says Rabbi Baruch Davidson, Rabbi and Director of Bala Chabad (Bala Cynwyd, PA). “This is devastating to our community, especially at this critical time for Jews in this country, when our votes and our voices are needed to be heard now more than ever.”

Compounding the problem is the fact that Montgomery County is urging voters not to send their ballots through the mail, as they likely won’t arrive in time, as noted on the county’s Voter Services site, but to send them through various drop box locations instead. For many in the Jewish community, the closest drop box is a 15- to 20-minute drive away.

The board of elections has informed people that some may not receive their ballot until Friday, creating huge obstacles for Jewish voters to participate in this election.

“To make it this difficult for the Jewish community, or any community, to vote is unacceptable, and steps must be taken immediately to stop this disenfranchisement of our voters,” Rabbi Yonah Gross, Congregation Beth Hamedrosh (Wynnewood, PA). “We call upon the board of elections to place drop boxes closer to our neighborhoods and to make sure voters receive their ballots in time.”

Pennsylvania Unites: Coalition of Jewish Voters is a voter mobilization effort from Teach Coalition, a project of the OU that advocates for equitable funding for nonpublic schools. The campaign was launched in the state several weeks ago, and focuses on Pennsylvania’s Jewish community, encouraging them to vote by mail, as many would not be able to vote on election day itself.

“Pennsylvania Unites demands immediate action and will take whatever steps are necessary to ensure every Jewish voice is heard and every Jewish vote is counted,” says Dan Mitzner, Direction of Government Affairs for Teach Coalition. “We urge Montgomery County to do everything in its power now to remove these obstacles for our voters and for lawmakers to take note to ensure unacceptable situations like this never happen again.”

Pennsylvania Unites: Coalition of Jewish Voters is a part of a national voting effort of Teach Coalition is currently engaged in voter efforts in numerous states and elections, including the current NY-16 election, under the campaign name of “Westchester Unites.”


About Teach Coalition

Teach Coalition, a project of the Orthodox Union, is a nonpartisan, multi-state, grassroots movement devoted to advocating for equitable funding for nonpublic schools. Teach Coalition works to make nonpublic schools better, safer and more affordable. Teach Coalition advocates on behalf of approximately 90% of Jewish day school and yeshivah students nationwide and counts more than 90,000 dedicated volunteers, activists and subscribers among its supporters.



Rebecca Zisholtz
Director, Marketing & Communications
(646) 459-5167 ext. 35167