Pennsylvania's restrictive election laws make it hard for Philly firefighters and EMS workers to vote

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  • Published: 11/06/2018 12:00 AM

Thomas Scheuerman wants to vote Tuesday. He'd really, really like to cast a ballot. To do so, he's planning on having a colleague cover part of his shift while Scheuerman votes at 7 a.m., right when the polls open, before rushing to work. "If he says no … I'm kind of stuck," Scheuerman said. "If there's a situation and someone says no — has child-care issues or something — I'm stuck, I won't vote this year." Scheuerman, 29, is an emergency medical technician with the Philadelphia Fire Department, driving an ambulance around the city in response to 911 calls. He's not exactly free to take a break to vote in the middle of a 12-hour shift, and he lives across the city from where he's stationed. Scheuerman and most of his 500 or so fellow first responders working Election Day in the city also aren't eligible for absentee ballots, which are limited to very specific circumstances by Pennsylvania law; early in-person voting is not allowed in the state.


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