(WHTM) — With Pennsylvania’s general election just weeks away, October 24 is the last day to register to vote. While government facilities are shut down for the day, people can still register online until midnight tonight.
County election officials are busy testing machines, processing mail-in ballot applications and making sure everything is ready for Nov. 8.
“They also have been processing voter registration applications in advance of [Monday’s] deadline,” Acting Secretary of State Leigh Chapman said.
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Pennsylvania has received over 120,000 new voter registration applications this year.
“We are expecting a large turnout especially through mail-in voting this year,” Chapman said.
Chapman said people can still register online through Oct. 24. There is even a hotline for voters: 1-877-VOTESPA (1-877-868-3772).
“If you have any questions about how to register or how to vote you can call that hotline, and a real person will walk you through it,” she said.
Another important deadline is coming up. Registered voters have until Nov. 1 to request a mail-in or absentee ballot, but election officials say don’t wait that long.
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“Apply as soon as possible and make sure when you receive that ballot, you get it in right away, especially if you plan to use the post office,” Cumberland County director of elections Bethany Salzarulo said.
So far, Pennsylvania voters have requested nearly 1.3 million mail-in and absentee ballots. Over 40 percent have been returned.
“We don’t have a midterm election to compare the mail-in ballots to, so it’s hard to tell if turnout’s going to be really high,” Chapman said.
Many people in the Midstate have reported delays in getting their mail, raising concerns about mail-in ballots arriving to voters — and to election officials — on time. Chapman said the best thing to do is get it in the mail early or drop it off yourself.
“I would do so at least a week before the election so it can get there in time,” she said. “You can return a mail-in ballot via mail, the US Postal Service, at a drop box if your county has them or in person at your county office on Election Day.
Chapman also reminded voters not all results will be in on Election Night. Counties have until Nov. 15 to submit unofficial results.