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PA Voters Have Four Weeks to Apply for a Mail In Ballot for Nov. 7 Election

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.

Pennsylvania voters also have the option of voting in person on Election Day at the polls, which will be open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 7. Voters can find their polling place on

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, or follow #ReadytoVotePA on social media. 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.

Gov. Wolf And Wife Inadvertently Break Voting Law

Maybe it’s time to rethink the voting laws that Pennsylvania’s legislature passed prior to the 2020 election.

Gov. Tom Wolf’s wife, First Lady Frances Wolf, dropped off his mail-in ballot for him, but under the law, he should have done it himself. If convicted, she could face a year in prison, a $1,000 fine or both. Wolf revealed this when asked during a radio interview if he had gone to the polls himself, according to Spotlight PA.

“It was an honest mistake,” said a spokesperson for the governor told Delaware Valley Journal.

A spokeswoman for Attorney General Josh Shapiro said it would be up to the local district attorney whether any charges would be brought. Shapiro, a Democrat, is running for governor. Wolf’s second term ends next year and by law he cannot seek a third.

Some of the Republicans who are running for the gubernatorial nomination were quick to chide the governor.

“Governor Wolf exemplifies the phrase, ‘rules for thee but not for me,'” said Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale. “We saw it with the COVID-19 restrictions and shut downs, and now with mail-in voting.

“Frankly, the bigger scandal is Act 77, the 2019 Pennsylvania law which created 50 days of no excuse mail-in voting and enabled nonsense like mail-in ballot drop boxes,” said Gale. “That law, which completely delegitimized our election process and cost President Trump his re-election, was passed by every Republican state senator, the Republican majority in the state House, and signed into law by Governor Wolf.”

Bill McSwain, the former U.S. Attorney for the eastern district of Pennsylvania said, “It is insulting that while many thousands of regular Pennsylvanians showed up to vote in person, Governor Tom Wolf couldn’t even be bothered to leave his home to drop off his own ballot. Unfortunately, this disregard for civic duty is par for the course when it comes to Wolf’s brand of do-nothing leadership. It is time for a hands-on Governor who will take an active interest in the future of Pennsylvania.”

Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Adams/Cumberland/Franklin) said, “Governor Wolf inadvertently highlighted a significant security flaw when it comes to mass mail-in voting. While currently illegal under the election code, enforcement of those who break the law by delivering a ballot or ballots on behalf of others can be extremely difficult. This is particularly true at unsecured drop-off locations.  Mass mail-in voting has opened up the door for the opportunity of ballot harvesting. It’s one of the many reasons I introduced SB 884 which would eliminate “no-excuse” mail in voting via Constitutional Amendment.”

Mastriano announced he formed an exploratory committee for a run for governor on Friday.


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