Voters can return mail-in ballots to Drop Box before Nov. 2, Sec. of State says

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HARRISBURG — On Thursday, Acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid reminded Pennsylvania voters they can drop off their mail-in or absentee ballots at drop box locations, at their county election office or at other officially designated locations at any time before 8 p.m. on Election Day.

“Counties have given voters multiple convenient options for returning their mail ballot,” Secretary Degraffenreid said. “Because we are so close to the Nov. 2 Election Day deadline, those who are voting by mail ballot should consider dropping off their ballot in person to ensure it is received by their county on time.”

A list of ballot-return sites is available HERE.

The Department of State urges voters to apply early for a mail ballot and not wait, although the deadline to apply is 5 p.m. Oct. 26. Voters may apply online, or they can go to their county election office or other officially designated location to vote immediately in person by mail ballot.

After Oct. 26, voters may still return their ballots in person, but they will no longer be able to apply for a mail ballot.

Voters planning to vote by mail or absentee ballot or in person by mail ballot must make sure they seal their ballot in the inner secrecy envelope that indicates “Official Election Ballot” and then seal the secrecy envelope in the pre-addressed outer return envelope. They also must complete the voter’s declaration on the outer envelope by signing their name and writing the current date. Voters must complete all these steps for their ballot to be counted.

Voted mail ballots must be received by county boards of elections by 8 p.m. Nov. 2, Election Day. Postmarks do not count.

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 voters who need third-party delivery of their 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 mail ballot packet with them to be voided, including the outer return envelope with the voter’s declaration.

If a voter applies for a mail ballot but does not receive it or 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 did not vote by mail before counting their provisional ballot.

“If you are planning to vote by mail ballot and have not already applied, please don’t delay,” Secretary Degraffenreid said. “If you have already received your ballot, it’s important to return it to your county board of elections as soon as possible. Make sure your voice is heard in this election.”

Pennsylvania voters also have the option of voting in person on Election Day at the polls, which will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., provided they have not already voted by mail ballot. They can find their polling place at vote.pa.gov

Citizens, officials and organizations are also encouraged to use resources from the state’s Ready to Vote Toolkit to help inform every eligible Pennsylvania voter about their options for how to cast their ballot in the Nov. 2 election. This toolkit includes sample social media posts, web banners, newsletter content, videos, flyers and more.

For more information on voting and elections in Pennsylvania, click HERE.

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