Deadline to get mail-in ballot nears

Pennsylvania residents planning to vote by mail ballot in the Nov. 2 election have until Oct. 26 to apply for a ballot, but Acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid said voters should not wait until the last minute to apply for a ballot.

“Apply online today so your county election office can send you your mail ballot in time for you to fill it out and return it by the Election Day deadline,” Degraffenreid said. To apply online, visit https://www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/.

Voters also have the option, until 5 p.m. Oct. 26, of applying for a mail ballot in person at their county election office. Voters can wait while their eligibility is verified, and then cast their mail ballot all in one visit, she said.

Sarah Seymour is the Blair County director of elections. The office is at 279 Loop Road, Hollidaysburg. For information, call 814-693-3287 or email sseymour​@blairco.org.

Those voting by mail should read the instructions carefully, including on how to mark selections. Voters must seal the ballot in the inner secrecy envelope that indicates “Official Election Ballot.” Voters are reminded to not make any stray marks on the envelope. Seal the secrecy envelope in the pre-addressed outer return envelope and complete the voter’s declaration on the outer envelope by signing and writing the current date.

For the ballot to be counted, it must be enclosed in both envelopes and the voter must sign and date the outer envelope. Voters also must put postage on the outer envelope before mailing.

Mailed ballots must be received by the county board of elections by Nov. 2, Election Day. The date of the postmark does not count. Hand-delivered ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day and must be taken to the Blair County Elections Office at 279 Loop Road, Hollidaysburg. Completed mail-in ballots will not be accepted at polling locations.

Polls are open for in-person voting from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. Voters who received an absentee or mail-in ballot may vote in person on Election Day if they bring their unvoted mail ballot and envelopes with them to be voided.

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 will be counted.

On Nov. 2, Pennsylvania voters will elect judges on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Superior Court, Commonwealth Court, county Common Pleas Courts and Philadelphia Municipal Court, as well as a wide variety of county, school board and local officials, such as mayors, city and borough council members, township commissioners and supervisors, magisterial district judges and precinct election officials.

“Pennsylvanians have three secure ways to vote — by mail ballot, in person by mail ballot at their county election office, and at the polls on Election Day,” Degraffenreid said. “Choose the option that best fits your needs. But, if you are voting by mail ballot, act quickly and complete and return your mail ballot now.”


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