Mail-in ballots

Mail-in ballots are sorted and counted by workers on Election Day in Northampton County. Pennsylvania lawmakers instituted no-excuse mail voting for the first time in 2019.

Today is the deadline for registered voters who want to request a mail-in ballot to vote in the May 18 Pennsylvania primary election.

According to the state Department of State, more than 706,900 Pennsylvania voters have applied for a mail-in ballot and more than 47,000 voters have applied for an absentee ballot.

“Pennsylvanians still have time to apply online for a mail ballot or to apply in person at their county election office,” Acting Secretary of State Veronica W. Degraffenreid said. “They can also vote early in person by applying for a mail ballot at their county election office, filling it out and returning it all in the same visit."

Voters who plan to vote by mail ballot can apply online or in-person at their county election office. Mail ballot applications must be received by the county board of elections by 5 p.m. today.

According to the Department of State, 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.

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 votesPA.com as the information becomes available.

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