Today is the deadline to apply for a absentee or mail-in ballot for the 2021 municipal primary

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Pennsylvania’s primary election is coming up soon.

May 18th is election day.

If you plan to vote using an absentee or mail-in ballot in the 2021 municipal primary, your completed application must be received in the county office by this afternoon.

The deadline to apply to vote by mail ballot is 5 p.m. May 11.

As soon as voters receive their mail ballot, they 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 that indicates official ballot. Be careful not to make any stray marks on the envelope. 
    • Seal the inner secrecy envelope in the outer return envelope which the voter must sign and date. 
  • For the ballot to be counted, it must be enclosed in both envelopes and the voter must sign and date the outer envelope.
  • Affix a postage stamp to the outer envelope before mailing. 

Voters can also go to their county election office, apply for a mail ballot, and wait while an election official verifies their eligibility, then vote and cast their ballot all in one visit. 

Voted mail ballots must be received by county boards of elections by 8 p.m. on May 18, Election Day. Some counties are providing drop boxes or drop-off sites for mail ballots. Check your county’s website for information on locations. The Department of State is providing a list of drop-off locations at as the information becomes available. 

Voters who provide an email address on their mail ballot application can check the status of their mail ballot at

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

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. 

All registered voters, regardless of party affiliation, will be eligible to vote on four ballot questions, including three proposed constitutional amendments. Two of the proposed constitutional amendments deal with disaster emergency declarations and the third relates to a prohibition against denying equal rights based on race or ethnicity. The fourth ballot 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) 

“Whichever of the three options you choose – voting by mail ballot, voting early in person by mail ballot, or voting at the polls on Election Day – the important thing is to get out and vote,” Secretary Degraffenreid said. “Make sure your voice is heard.” 

For more information on voting in Pennsylvania call the Department of State’s toll-free hotline at 1-877-VOTESPA (1-877-868-3772) or visit

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