From a press release
Secretary of the Commonwealth Al Schmidt today reminded registered Pennsylvania voters that they have until 5 p.m. Oct. 31 to apply for a mail ballot for the Nov. 7 municipal election. Ensuring that our elections are conducted securely, freely, and fairly – and that every eligible voter can make their voice heard – are top priorities of the Shapiro Administration.
“Voting by mail is a safe, secure, and convenient way to make your voice heard in the upcoming election,” Schmidt said. “Voters can apply online for a mail-in or absentee ballot, or they can apply in person at their county board of elections office.
“I encourage all voters to take time today to request their mail ballot so they have plenty of time to receive it and then return the voted ballot before the deadline, which is 8 p.m. on Nov. 7.”
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 marked “Official Election Ballot.” Be careful not to make any stray marks on the envelope.
- Seal the secrecy envelope in the pre-addressed outer return envelope.
- Complete the voter’s declaration on the outer envelope by signing and writing the current date.
- Affix a postage stamp to the outer envelope before mailing.
Voted mail ballots must be received by a voter’s county board of elections by 8 p.m. Nov. 7, Election Day. Mail ballots received after that time do not count, even if they contain a postmark before the deadline. Some counties may provide drop boxes or drop-off sites for mail ballots. Voters should check their county’s website for information on locations.
Pennsylvanians can also request their mail ballot, complete it, and return it in one visit to their county election office until 5 p.m. Oct. 31. Voters are encouraged to check their county election office hours before making the trip.
Voters who received an absentee or mail-in ballot may vote in person on Election Day if they bring their mail ballot and outer return envelope with them to be voided. After they surrender those materials and sign a declaration, they can then vote on a regular ballot.
Voters who requested a mail ballot and did not receive it or do not have it to surrender may vote by provisional ballot at their polling place. The provisional ballot will be reviewed by the county board of elections after Election Day to determine whether it can be counted.
“Whichever voting option you choose – by mail ballot or in person at the polls on Election Day – the important thing is to exercise your constitutional right to vote and let your voice be heard,” Schmidt said.
For more information on voting in Pennsylvania, call the Department of State’s year-round voter hotline at 1-877-VOTESPA, visit vote.pa.gov, or follow #ReadytoVotePA on social media. Vote.pa.gov is available in English, Spanish, and Chinese and offers online voter registration, a polling place locator, and county boards of elections contact information. It also includes voting tips for first-time voters and members of the military.