Carolyn Pallof | Senior Staff Photographer
It can be difficult to navigate the voting process, and with the deadline to apply for a mail-in ballot quickly approaching, it’s important to know the basics.
State lawmakers pushed the Pennsylvania primary election back from April 28 to June 2 due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the first year Pennsylvania has allowed mail-in ballots for anyone who requests one by the May 26 deadline. An absentee ballot can normally only be requested with a reason for why the voter cannot appear in-person on election day.
After registering to vote, the voter must then apply for the absentee or mail-in ballot. According to the County Division of Elections, there are three ways to apply for a mail-in ballot. Voters can apply online with a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license or photo ID, download and print a mail-in ballot application or apply in person at the County Office Building in Downtown.
Absentee ballots must be completed with a blue or black pen, placed into the provided envelope and signed by the voter. The County Elections office must receive the ballot by 8 p.m. on June 2, the night of the election.
Mail-in voting can be a safe alternative to voting in-person on election day and risking exposure to others. According to the County, the elections division has already received more than 186,000 mail-in ballot applications as of Tuesday. Voters can also track the status of their ballot online.