Harrisburg, PA – Acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid today reminded registered Pennsylvania voters that they have less than two weeks, until 5 p.m. Oct. 26, to apply for a mail ballot for the Nov. 2 municipal election.
"Pennsylvanians still have time to apply online for a mail ballot or to apply in person at their county election office," Secretary Degraffenreid said. "Voters who wish to vote by mail should submit their application as soon as possible to allow sufficient time for their ballot to be mailed to them and then returned to their county election office in time to be counted."
Pennsylvanians can also vote early in person by mail ballot until 5 p.m. Oct. 26, by applying for a mail ballot at their county election office, waiting while an election official verifies their eligibility, and then voting and casting their ballot, all in one visit.
Only registered voters can vote by mail ballot. The deadline to register to vote for the Nov. 2 election is Oct. 18.
So far, more than 836,270 Pennsylvania voters have applied for a no-excuse mail-in ballot and 69,895 voters have applied for an absentee ballot.
As soon as voters receive their mail ballot, they should:
- Read the instructions carefully.
- Fill out the ballot, being sure to follow instructions on how to mark selections.
- Seal the ballot in the inner secrecy envelope that indicates "Official Election Ballot." Be careful not to make any stray marks on the envelope.
- Seal the secrecy envelope in the pre-addressed outer return envelope.
- Complete the voter's declaration on the outer envelope by signing and writing the current date.
- For the ballot to be counted, it must be enclosed in both envelopes and the voter must sign and date the outer envelope.
- Affix a postage stamp to the outer envelope before mailing.
Voted mail ballots must be received by county boards of elections by 8 p.m. Nov. 2, Election Day. Postmarks do not count.
Some counties are providing drop boxes or drop-off sites for mail ballots. Check your county's website for information on locations.
Voters can check the status of their mail ballot at vote.pa.gov.
Pennsylvania voters also have the option of voting in person on Election Day at the polls, which will be open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., provided they have not already voted by mail ballot. They can find their polling place on vote.pa.gov.
Voters who received an absentee or mail-in ballot may vote in person on Election Day if they bring their mail ballot and the pre-addressed outer return envelope with them to be voided. After they surrender their ballot and envelope and sign a declaration, they can then vote on a regular ballot. Voters who already voted and returned their mail ballot are not eligible to vote in person on Election Day.
Voters who requested a mail ballot and did not receive it or do not have it to surrender may vote by provisional ballot at their polling place. The provisional ballot will be reviewed by the county board of elections after Election Day to determine whether it will be counted.
On Nov. 2, Pennsylvania voters will elect judges on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Superior Court, Commonwealth Court, county Common Pleas Courts and Philadelphia Municipal Court, as well as county, school board and local officials, such as mayors, city and borough council members, township commissioners and supervisors, magisterial district judges and precinct election officials.
"The important thing is to exercise your constitutional right to vote and let your voice be heard, no matter which voting method you use," Secretary Degraffenreid said. "The results of municipal elections affect voters' daily lives far into the future."
For more information on voting in Pennsylvania call the Department of State's toll-free hotline at 1-877-868-3772, visit vote.pa.gov or follow along on social media with the hashtag #ReadyToVotePA.
MEDIA CONTACT: Wanda Murren, 717-783-1621