Early In-Person Voting by Mail Underway in Pennsylvania


HARRISBURG, PA — Acting Secretary of State Veronica W. Degraffenreid is reminding Pennsylvanians today that they can vote early in-person by mail ballot until May 11, the deadline to apply for a mail ballot.

“Once your county’s ballots are available, voting early in person by mail ballot is one of the new options under the bipartisan Act 77,” Secretary Degraffenreid said. “It’s simple, secure, easy and convenient.”

Once their county has finalized and printed ballots, voters can visit their county election office or satellite office and apply for a mail or absentee ballot. County election officials will check their eligibility while they wait and, once verified, will provide them with the ballot. Voters can then complete their ballot and cast it all in one visit.

Voters can use this option until 5 p.m. on May 11, the deadline to apply for a mail ballot for the May 18 primary election.

Before making the trip to vote in person by mail ballot, voters should check the hours of their county’s election office or satellite office, Secretary Degraffenreid advised. A list of satellite voting locations designated by county election boards will be updated as information is made available.

Whether voting at home or in person at the county office, voters should make sure they enclose their mail ballot first in the inner secrecy envelope and seal it, insert the inner envelope into the outer envelope and sign and date the outer envelope.  Voters must complete these steps in order for their ballots to be counted.

Voters have until 5 p.m. on May 11 to apply for a mail ballot through their county election board. Voted mail ballots must be received by county election boards by 8 p.m. on May 18, Election Day. More than 677,500 Pennsylvanians already have applied for a mail-in ballot and more than 36,000 Pennsylvanians have applied for an absentee ballot.

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Pennsylvania voters can choose to vote by mail ballot or to vote in person at their polling place on Election Day. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on May 18.

The deadline to register to vote in the municipal primary, May 3, also is fast approaching. Pennsylvanians can register to vote and check their registration status online. Or they can download and print a registration form and mail it to their county election board. Applicants using the online voter registration system must complete and submit their application by 11:59 p.m. on May 3 to vote in the primary. Traditional paper voter registration forms must be received in county voter registration offices by close of business on May 3.

Individuals wishing to register to vote in the May 18 primary must be:

  • A citizen of the United States for at least one month before the primary
  • A resident of Pennsylvania and of the election district in which the individual plans to register and vote for at least 30 days before the primary
  • At least 18 years of age on or before the date of the primary

On May 18, voters who are registered as Republican or Democrat will choose their parties’ nominees for seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Superior Court, Commonwealth Court, county Common Pleas Courts, and Philadelphia Municipal Court.

Also on the party ballots will be a wide variety of county, school board, and local seats such as mayor, city or borough council member, township commissioner or supervisor, magisterial district judges, and precinct election officials.

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All registered voters, regardless of party affiliation, will be eligible to vote on four ballot questions. Three of the questions are proposed constitutional amendments, and the fourth question is a referendum on making municipal fire departments or companies with paid personnel and emergency medical services companies eligible for an existing state loan program.

In addition, all registered voters in the following four districts, regardless of party affiliation, will be voting in special elections to fill vacancies:

  • 22nd State Senate District (Lackawanna County and parts of Luzerne and Monroe counties)
  • 48th State Senate District (Lebanon County and parts of Dauphin and York counties)
  • 59th State House District (parts of Somerset and Westmoreland counties)
  • 60th State House District (parts of Armstrong, Butler, and Indiana counties)

For more information on voting and elections, call the Department of State’s toll-free hotline at 1-877-VOTESPA (1-877-868-3772) or visit votesPA.com.

For the latest news on everything happening in Chester County and the surrounding area, be sure to follow MyChesCo on Google News.

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