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Deadline to Apply for a Mail Ballot for the November Election Is Oct. 26

One week left to vote in person by mail ballot


Harrisburg, PA – Acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid today urged Pennsylvanians planning to vote by mail ballot in the Nov. 2 municipal election to apply now, before the Oct. 26 deadline, and return their mail ballot immediately to ensure their vote is counted.

"Apply online today so your county election office can send you your mail ballot in time for you to fill it out and return it by the Election Day deadline," Secretary Degraffenreid said. "Voters also have the convenient option, until 5 p.m. Oct. 26, of applying for a mail ballot in person at their county election office, waiting while their eligibility is verified, and then casting their mail ballot all in one visit."

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 sufficient postage to the outer envelope before mailing. 

Voters should return their voted ballot to their county board of elections as soon as possible. They have two options. They can:

Pennsylvania voters also have the option of voting in person on Election Day at the polls, provided they have not already voted by mail ballot. Polls will be open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Voters who received an absentee or mail-in ballot may vote in person on Election Day if they bring their unvoted mail ballot and envelopes with them to be voided. After they surrender their ballot packet and sign a declaration, they can then vote 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 a wide variety of 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.

"Pennsylvanians have three secure ways to vote – by mail ballot, in person by mail ballot at their county election office, and at the polls on Election Day," Secretary Degraffenreid said. "Choose the option that best fits your needs. But, if you are voting by mail ballot, act quickly and complete and return your mail ballot now."

For more information on voting in Pennsylvania, visit, call the Department of State's toll-free hotline at 1-877-868-3772 or follow along on social media with the hashtag #ReadyToVotePA.

MEDIA CONTACT:    Wanda Murren, 717-783-1621


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