HARRISBURG – Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar is reminding Pennsylvania voters that they can drop off their mail-in or absentee ballots at drop box locations, at their county election office or at another officially designated location until 8 p.m. on election day, Tuesday, Nov. 3.
“Drop boxes are a secure and convenient way for voters to drop off their ballots prior to or on election day,” said Boockvar. “I urge those who are voting by mail ballot this election to consider dropping off their ballot in person to ensure that it is received by their county on time.”
The department urges voters to apply now and not wait, though the last day to apply for a mail ballot is Tuesday, Oct. 27. Voters may apply online or go to their county election office or other officially designated location to apply for, vote and return their ballot all in one visit. After Oct. 27, voters may still return their ballots in person, but can no longer apply for a mail ballot.
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 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 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 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 did not vote by mail before counting their provisional ballot.
“If you are planning to vote by mail ballot and have not applied, apply today. Don’t wait,” said Boockvar. “If you have your mail ballot, vote it and return it as soon as possible. Make sure that your voice is heard in this election.”
Citizens, officials, and organizations are encouraged to use resources from the state’s Ready to Vote Toolkit at www.votesPA.com/r2vtoolkit to educate every eligible Pennsylvania voter about their options for how to cast their ballot in the Nov. 3 election. The toolkit includes sample social-media posts, web banners, newsletter content, videos, flyers and more.
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.