Acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid today reminded Pennsylvanians that they can vote now in person by mail ballot at their county election office or satellite election office, one of three voting options available to them for the Nov. 2 municipal election.
“Voting in person by mail ballot before Election Day is an easy and convenient option for voters who do not want to return their ballot by mail and who cannot or do not want to go to the polls on Election Day,” Secretary Degraffenreid said. “But before heading to their county election office, voters should check their hours and find out whether making an appointment ahead of time is recommended.”
Once a county’s ballots are finalized and printed, voters can visit their county election office or satellite office and apply for a mail ballot. County election officials will check their eligibility while they wait and, once their eligibility is verified, give them a ballot. They can then complete their ballot and cast it all in one visit.
Voters should make sure that they enclose their ballot first in the inner secrecy envelope that indicates “Official Election Ballot.” They should then seal the secrecy envelope, insert it into the pre-addressed outer return envelope, and then sign and date the voter’s declaration on the outer envelope. Voters must complete each of these steps for their ballot to be counted.
Some county election boards have opened satellite offices to offer residents convenient locations for mail-in and absentee ballot application processing and voting, or to drop off voted ballots that were mailed to them. These satellite offices may be open additional hours, including weeknights and weekends. Each satellite office has a secure ballot collection receptacle to store voted mail-in and absentee ballots submitted at the location.
The option to vote in person by mail ballot is available through Oct. 26, which is the deadline to apply for a mail ballot for the Nov. 2 election.
Pennsylvanians voting by mail ballot must ensure that their ballot is received at their county office by 8 p.m. Nov. 2. Postmarks do not count. Ballots can be mailed or hand-delivered to county election offices or other designated locations. The Department of State urges voters to return their mail ballot as soon as possible to ensure timely arrival.
Polling places will be open in every county from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. Voters should wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines at the polls.
“We urge every eligible voter to use one of the three voting options available to let their voice be heard on Nov. 2,” Secretary Degraffenreid said. “Municipal elections are important because they determine who will make the decisions that affect voters’ daily lives, such as local tax rates, public school curricula and road maintenance schedules.”
Citizens, officials, and organizations are encouraged to use resources from the state’s Voter Education Toolkit to inform every eligible Pennsylvania voter about their options for how to cast their ballot in the Nov. 2 election. The toolkit includes sample social-media posts, web banners, newsletter content, videos, flyers, and more.
For more information on voting and elections in Pennsylvania, call the Department of State’s toll-free hotline at 1-877-868-3772 or visit vote.pa.gov.