WEST CHESTER, PA — The Chester County Board of Elections has approved measures to ensure the eligible ballots of all county voters are counted in the May 18 Primary Election. Those measures include the placement of 13 secure ballot drop boxes for mail-in and absentee ballots, and one satellite election office.
The secure drop boxes are located at 12 libraries across Chester County, plus the Chester County Government Services Center on Westtown Road in West Chester.
Ten of the dropbox locations will be staffed during open hours (9 AM-7 PM, M-F and 10 AM to 2 PM, Sat and Sun.) Three drop box locations will be monitored by video surveillance, and will be available 24/7. The drive-thru video-secure drop box locations are Henrietta Hankin Branch Library in Chester Springs, the Chester County Library in Exton, and the Chester County Government Services Center in West Chester.
All drop boxes will be open on Primary Election Day, May 18, until 8 PM.
Chester County Voter Services reminds everyone who chooses to take their mail-in ballot to a dropbox that, under Pennsylvania law, voters must return their own ballot, and not request that someone else return their ballot for them.
The satellite election office, located in Suite 140 of the Chester County Government Services Center in West Chester, will allow voters to formally request and receive a mail-in ballot in-person, as well as submit their completed mail-in ballot there.
Marian Moskowitz, Chair of the Chester County Board of Elections and the Board of Commissioners, said, “This Primary Election will include statewide ballot questions that allow all registered voters, regardless of their party affiliation, to cast a vote on proposed amendments to the PA Constitution.
“As we did with last year’s election process, we are taking measures to protect everyone from COVID-19 who votes in person on May 18th, and ensure that ballots submitted by mail, drop box or at our satellite office are securely delivered to our Voter Services team and counted.”
Chester County Voter Services reminds all voters of key dates and deadlines for the May 18th Primary Election: The last day to register to vote for this election is May 3; and the last day to apply for a mail-in or civilian absentee ballot is May 11. All completed mail-in and absentee ballots must be dropped into a secure drop box, or received at Voter Services’ office by 8:00 PM on May 18.
Chester County Voter Services began mailing requested ballots on Friday, April 23. To date, more than 32,000 mail-in and absentee ballots have be requested by voters in Chester County.
Details of the location and opening time of the satellite election office and the secure mail-in ballot drop boxes can be found on Chester County’s comprehensive election portal at www.chesco.org/elections. Included on the portal is an interactive map that allows voters to enter their address to find the satellite election office and secure drop-off locations closest to them.
Chester County Commissioner Josh Maxwell said, “In addition to in-person or video security, all drop box locations will include a secure, tamper-proof locked box for completed ballots that are placed in the secrecy envelope and outer envelope.
“Ballots will be collected every evening by individuals who are wearing a body camera, and the ballots will be delivered to the Chester County Government Services Center where they will be kept under video surveillance 24-hours a day, seven days a week until Primary Election Day on May 18.”
All of Chester County’s 230 precincts (located within 191 polling locations) will be open for this year’s Primary Election. The polling places will be set up to ensure the maximum level of personal protection against COVID-19 for both poll workers and the voting public on Primary Election Day. This includes clear mapped-out 6-foot social distancing while waiting to vote and while voting; plexiglass shields; hand sanitizer and handwashing facilities; provision of masks, gloves and sanitation kits for all poll workers; regular cleaning of pens and voting stations; and specialized disinfectant for scanning machines.
“Our staff in Voter Services is committed to ensuring that the integrity of Chester County’s election process is maintained. We provide continually updated information for voters, including important deadlines and dates, the location of all precincts, and how to monitor the progress of your mail-in and absentee ballot,” said Chester County Commissioner Michelle Kichline. “Chester County’s Election Portal has a wealth of information that is easy to understand and access, and it is reviewed daily to keep on top of any news or possible changes that may happen.”
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