PA Residents Have Until May 9 to Apply for Mail-In Voting

Mail Ballot

PENNSYLVANIA — Time is running out for Pennsylvania voters who want to apply for a mail-in or absentee ballot for the municipal primary. Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth Al Schmidt is reminding everyone that the deadline is fast approaching – 5 p.m. on May 9. Voting by mail is a convenient and safe option for those who are unable or prefer not to vote in person. However, it’s important to leave enough time for the postal service to deliver your ballot before the deadline.

Pennsylvania voters can choose from two vote-by-mail options: mail-in or absentee ballot.

Mail-in ballots

Any registered Pennsylvania voter can request a no-excuse mail-in ballot. Voters can apply for their ballot online or download and print an application from the Department of State’s website,

To date, 626,509 voters have applied for mail-in ballots ahead of the May 16 municipal primary, Schmidt said.

Absentee ballots

Voters who will be away from their home municipality on Election Day or who have a disability or illness that prevents them from going to the polls can apply for an absentee ballot online.

So far, 44,374 voters have applied for absentee ballots ahead of the May 16 primary, Schmidt said.

Mail ballot applications must be received by a voter’s county elections board by 5 p.m. May 9.

Upon receiving their mail ballot, voters should:

  • Fill out the ballot by following the instructions on how to mark selections.
  • Seal the ballot in the inner secrecy envelope marked “official ballot.” Do not make any stray marks on the envelope.
  • Then seal the inner secrecy envelope in the pre-addressed outer return envelope.
  • Sign and put the current date on the voter’s declaration on the outer return envelope.

Under Pennsylvania law, voters are allowed to mail or hand-deliver only their own ballot to their county board of elections. The only exceptions to this rule are for voters with a disability who have designated someone in writing to deliver their ballot and for voters who need an emergency absentee ballot.

County boards of election offices must receive all completed mail ballots – whether they are mail-in or absentee ballots – by 8 p.m. on Election Day, May 16. Mail ballots received after that time, even if postmarked by 8 p.m. May 16, will not count.

Polls will be open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day for those eligible voters who want to vote in person.

For more information about all voting options, voters can visit or call 1-877-VOTESPA (1-877-868-3772).

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