Election officials game out worst-case scenarios in drills

FILE - In this July 7, 2020, file photo a woman wearing gloves drops off a mail-in ballot at a drop box in Hackensack, N.J. After months of hearing President Donald Trump denigrate mail-in balloting, Republicans in the critical battleground state now find themselves far behind Democrats in the perennial push to urge their voters to vote remotely. While Democrats have doubled the number of their voters who've asked for a mail ballot compared to 2016, Republicans have only increased by about 20% since the same time.

Postage for all mail-in and absentee ballots will be free to Pennsylvania voters for the 2020 general election, the Pennsylvania Department of State announced Friday.

“Our goal is to make voting as accessible, safe, and easy for eligible voters as possible,” Secretary Boockvar said. “Mail-in or absentee voting with prepaid postage means Pennsylvanians can vote from the comfort of their own home, without having to make a trip to the post office to buy a stamp, during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Eligible voters may apply for their mail-in or absentee ballot online, in person at their county election offices, or by paper forms submitted by mail. Once the county determines the voter is eligible, the Department’s funding will allow the counties to send a postage-paid ballot-return envelope with the ballot to the voter for their easy return.

“It’s our job as public servants to make the voting process as seamless as possible for our citizens. This decision by Governor Wolf and the Department of State is the right move because it makes it even easier for all Pennsylvanians to make sure their voices are heard,” said David Pedri, Luzerne County Manager.

The Department of State is working with individual counties to identify the easiest manner of implementing pre-paid postage for November’s returned ballots – whether it be reimbursed metered postage, funding Business Reply Mail (BRM) postage costs, or reimbursement for stamps.

For voters who prefer to vote in person, polling places will be available in all counties on election day, Nov. 3, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Recommended for you