Chester County voters will have access to 13 secure ballot drop boxes for mailed or absentee ballots in the May 18 primary, county officials announced.
The drop boxes are located at 13 libraries across the county and at a satellite office at the Chester County Government Services Center on Westtown Road in West Chester. Ten drop boxes will be monitored by staff and three will be monitored by video surveillance. Those monitored by workers will be open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The ballot boxes with video cameras will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, all drop boxes will be open on primary election day, May 18, until 8 p.m.
Under state law, voters using the drop boxes must return their own ballots and not request another person to do it for them. Voters can request and receive mail-in ballots in person at the satellite office, in Suite 140 of the Chester County Government Services Center.
“This Primary Election will include statewide ballot questions that allow all registered voters, regardless of their party affiliation, to cast a vote on proposed amendments to the Pennsylvania Constitution,” Marian Moskowitz, chair of the Chester County Board of Elections and the Board of Commissioners said.
“As we did with last year’s election process, we are taking measures to protect everyone from COVID-19 who votes in person on May 18, and ensure that ballots submitted by mail, drop box, or at our satellite office are securely delivered to our Voter Services team and counted,” she said.
Chester County Commissioner Josh Maxwell added, “In addition to in-person or video security, all drop box locations will include a secure, tamper-proof locked box for completed ballots that are placed in the secrecy envelope and outer envelope. Ballots will be collected every evening by individuals who are wearing a body camera, and the ballots will be delivered to the Chester County Government Services Center where they will be kept under video surveillance 24-hours a day, seven days a week until Primary Election Day on May 18.”
May 3 is the last day to apply for a mail-in or civilian absentee ballot and those ballots must be dropped off by 8 p.m. on May 18. All 230 precincts within the 191 polling locations will be open for the primary and precautions are being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19, officials said.
“Our staff in Voter Services is committed to ensuring that the integrity of Chester County’s election process is maintained. We provide continually updated information for voters, including important deadlines and dates, the location of all precincts, and how to monitor the progress of your mail-in and absentee ballot,” said Chester County Commissioner Michelle Kichline. “Chester County’s Election Portal has a wealth of information that is easy to understand and access, and it is reviewed daily to keep on top of any news or possible changes that may happen.”
Details of the location and opening time of the satellite election office and the secure mail-in ballot drop boxes can be found on Chester County’s comprehensive election portal at www.chesco.org/elections. Included on the portal is an interactive map that allows voters to enter their address to find the satellite election office and secure drop-off locations closest to them.