Pennsylvania Voters Encouraged to Hand-Deliver Mail Ballots

Mail Ballot

PENNSYLVANIA — Pennsylvanians who have requested a mail ballot for the upcoming Nov. 8 election are being encouraged to hand-deliver it as soon as possible to their county election office, drop box, or other designated location.

“It’s time to return your mail ballot now to ensure it arrives by the deadline of 8 p.m. on Election Day,” Acting Secretary of State Leigh M. Chapman said. “Hand deliver your mail ballot now to your county election office or authorized drop-off location to be certain your vote will be counted.”

Voters who requested a mail ballot have several options for hand-delivering their voted ballot.

They can:

Before casting their mail ballot, voters 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 marked “Official Election Ballot.” Do not make any stray marks on the envelope.
  • Then seal the secrecy envelope in the pre-addressed outer return envelope.
  • Sign and date the declaration on the outer return envelope.

While voters can still apply for a mail ballot, through today at 5 p.m., they are urged to fill out and return their ballot as soon as they receive it.

They also have the option of voting their mail ballot in person at their county election office through 5 p.m. today. They can apply for their ballot, wait while their eligibility is verified by an election official, then complete and return their ballot all in one visit.

Under Pennsylvania law, voters may return only their own ballots. The only exceptions to this are for voters with a disability who have designated someone in writing to deliver their ballot, or voters who need third-party delivery of an emergency absentee ballot if they have an unexpected illness, disability or last-minute absence from their municipality.

Voters who applied for and received a mail ballot and then decide they want to vote at the polls must bring their mail ballot packet with them to be voided, including the pre-addressed outer return envelope with the voter’s declaration.

If a voter applied for a mail ballot but did not receive it or no longer has the mail ballot and envelopes, they may vote by provisional ballot at their polling place on Election Day. Their county board of elections will then verify that they did not vote by mail before counting their provisional ballot.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Nov. 8. Chapman reminded voters that if they are in line by 8 p.m., they should stay there; they will be able to vote.

For more information on voting in Pennsylvania, visit vote.pa.gov, call the Department of State’s year-round voter hotline at 1-877-868-3772.

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