Pa. Secretary of State: Request Absentee Ballots Now

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PENNSYLVANIA Secretary of State Robert Torres

Acting Secretary of State Robert Torres encourages Pennsylvanians to submit requests for absentee ballots before the Oct. 30 deadline.

Under the state election code, applications for absentee ballots must be submitted no later than one week before Election Day. For this year’s November 6 midterm election, the deadline falls on Tuesday, Oct. 30. Absentee voters must return their voted ballot to their county election office by Friday, Nov. 2.

“There isn’t much time between the statutory deadlines to request an absentee ballot and to return the completed ballot to the county elections office,” Secretary Torres said. “Pennsylvanians planning to vote by absentee ballot are strongly urged to submit their absentee ballot application as soon as possible.”

Absentee ballots must be received in county elections offices by 5 p.m. on the Friday before the election. A timely postmark is not sufficient.

“By requesting absentee ballots and returning them well before the deadlines, voters will ensure their votes will be fully counted,” Secretary Torres said.

Absentee ballots may be cast by deployed members of the military, Pennsylvania students attending out-of-state colleges or universities, individuals with illnesses or disabilities, and individuals who will be away from their municipality on business on Election Day. Comprehensive information about absentee ballots, including a downloadable request form (PDF), can be found at the Department of State’s website votesPA.com.

Applicants will be asked to supply basic voter registration information and to specify a reason for applying to vote absentee.

Pennsylvanians applying for an absentee ballot must provide their driver’s license or PennDOT ID number. If they do not have a driver’s license or PennDOT ID, they must give the last four digits of their Social Security number. If a voter has neither, they must present a copy of an acceptable photo ID. A list of approved alternative types of identification is available at votesPA.com.

Once an absentee ballot has been completed, a voter may return it by mail or deliver it in person to county election offices.

An absentee voter can designate an agent to deliver the absentee application and ballot if he or she is physically unable to do so. Certification of Designated Agent forms are also available online.

Because the Commonwealth has strengthened cybersecurity measures protecting its election infrastructure, some overseas voters who request absentee ballots by electronic delivery are being advised to contact the Department of State help desk and request that their ballot be emailed to them. The help desk is available by email at STSVCSURE_Helpdesk@pa.gov or by phone at 1-866-472-7873. Military and overseas absentee ballots must be postmarked by 11:59 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5, and received at county elections offices by 5 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 13.

On Nov. 6, Pennsylvania voters will elect a governor and lieutenant governor, one U.S. Senator and 18 U.S. House members. Even-numbered state Senate districts and all state House seats also will be on the ballot.

For additional information, call 1-877-VOTESPA (1-877-868-3772) or visit votesPA.com.

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