HARRISBURG, PA — Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar is reminding Pennsylvanians to make a plan now for how they are going to cast their ballot in the November 3 general election.
“Pennsylvanians have more secure and accessible voting options than ever before, and more ways to make a plan for how, where and when they will cast their ballot,” said Secretary Boockvar. “No matter how you choose to vote, what is most important is that all eligible Pennsylvanians cast their vote on or before November 3.”
To make your own voting plan, consider the following questions:
- How will I vote? Voters in Pennsylvania have the option of voting by mail-in ballot from the comfort of their own home, going in-person to their county election office or other designated location to vote early by mail ballot or voting in-person at their polling place on election day.
- Where will you vote? If you plan to vote on election day, check your polling place location. If you plan to vote early in-person, check the hours of your county election office or satellite offices where early in-person voting is offered. And if you are dropping off your mail ballot that you’ve already applied for and completed, you can find your county’s drop off locations on votesPA.com.
- When will you vote?
- If you plan to vote in-person on election day, polls will be open on Nov. 3 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- If you want to vote early in-person at your county election office you can apply for, vote and return your mail ballot all in one visit, so long as you do so before 5 p.m. on October 27.
- If you want to vote by mail-in or absentee ballot, you can vote anytime on or before Nov. 3, so long as you have applied for your mail-in ballot by 5 p.m. October 27.
- Apply today – don’t wait! – and cast your ballot as soon as you receive it. Mail-in and absentee ballots must be returned to your county election office by 8 p.m. on election day, November 3. Drop it off in person if you can or ballots returned via mail must be postmarked by November 3 and received by your county election office by 5 p.m. Friday, November 6.
Voters planning to vote early in-person or by mail or absentee ballot must make sure that they enclose their ballot first in the white inner secrecy envelope and seal it, then insert the inner envelope into the outer pre-printed return envelope and sign and complete the voter’s declaration on the outer envelope. Voters must complete these two steps for their ballot to be counted.
Under Pennsylvania law, voters may only return 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 for voters who are hospitalized or need an emergency absentee ballot.
Voters who apply for and receive a mail ballot and then decide they want to vote at the polls must bring their entire unvoted mail ballot packet with them to be voided, including both envelopes.
If a voter applies for a mail ballot but does not return it and no longer has the mail ballot and envelopes, they may vote by provisional ballot at the polls on election day. Their county board of elections will then verify that they didn’t vote by mail before counting their provisional ballot.
Voters who plan to vote in person at their polling place on election day should wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines. The Department of State is supplying counties with masks, face shields, hand sanitizer, floor marking tape and other supplies for polling places so Pennsylvanians can safely exercise their right to vote during the COVID-19 emergency.
For more information on voting and elections in Pennsylvania, call the Department of State’s toll-free hotline at 1-877-VOTESPA (1-877-868-3772) or visit votesPA.com.
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