HARRISBURG, Pa. (Erie News Now) – Today is the deadline to request a mail-in or absentee ballot in Pennsylvania.
By five o’clock Tuesday evening, registered voters who wish to vote by mail in this year’s general election, now just eight days away, will need to fill out their application which can be found online, here. You must be a registered voter to submit an application, the deadline to register was Oct 24.
If you are one of the nearly 1.4 million Pennsylvanians who have already requested a mail-in or absentee ballot, then you should be set, just make sure it is received by your county elections office by eight o’clock on election night. If you are not one of the 1.4 million who’ve requested one, and still wish to vote by mail, you have less than 24 hours to request your ballot.
Mail-in ballots are for voters who don’t wish to vote in person on election day and absentee ballots are for voters who will not be present in their county on election day, or unable to make it to the polls for a specific reason.
To avoid delays and ensure all votes are counted, election officials are urging voters to send in their completed mail ballots as soon as possible, and to drop them off in-person any time after tomorrow.
“If you are going to mail in your mail-in or absentee ballot through the US Postal Service, I would do so at least a week before the election so it can get there on time because the county must receive that mail-in or absentee ballot by 8 p.m. on Election Day,” said Leigh Chapman, the Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth during a recent call with media.
Chapman says the U.S. Postal Service does expedite mail ballots; however, with tomorrow being one week to the election, she recommends dropping it off in person any later than that.
“If you’re worried about your completed ballot arriving on time, or you’re within that seven-day window- you can return it in person to your county election office or in a drop box if your county offers one,” said Chapman.
Chapman also addressed what voters should do if they’ve requested a ballot and have not received it, perhaps because of issues or delays with the postal service.
“If there is a scenario where you’ve requested your mail-in ballot and you haven’t received it, you can go in person to vote on Election Day at the polling place, but you will vote a provisional ballot,” said Chapman. “The first thing to do is to call your election office, or call us to see what we can do to make sure that ballot gets to you,” she added.
If you have not received your mail ballot and are worried it may have been lost in the mail, you can contact your county elections office here or the PA Department of State at 1-877-VOTES-PA (1-877-868-3772).
As of today, there have been 1,397,218 total requests for mail ballots; 965,043 Democrat, 289,586 Republican, and 142,589 “Other,” which includes Independents and third-party ballots. 854,878 total ballots have been returned; 613,380 Democrat, 170,811 Republican, and 70,687 Other.
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