Voter registration and mail-in ballot deadlines close in as election nears

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Pennsylvanians still have some time to register to vote and apply for a mail-in ballot. The deadline to register is Oct. 19 and the deadline to apply for a mail ballot is 5 p.m. Oct. 27.

On Nov. 3, Pennsylvania voters will elect the president and vice president; U.S. representatives; the state attorney general, auditor general, and treasurer; state representatives; and state senators.

Those who are looking to register to vote must be:

  • A U.S. citizen for at least one month before the election.
  • A Pennsylvania resident for at least 30 days before the election.
  • At least 18 years of age on or before the date of the election.

Voters also are encouraged to use an online system to confirm their registration status prior to the deadline. This site provides county election office contact information and a polling place locator.

Voters wishing to vote by mail should apply for their ballot immediately so they will have time to return it before the deadline. Once their application is verified, their county election office will mail them a ballot.

As soon as the voter receives the ballot, the voter should:

  • Read the instructions carefully.
  • Fill out the ballot, being sure to follow instructions on how to mark selections.
  • Seal the ballot in the white inner secrecy envelope that indicates “official ballot.” Make sure not to make any stray marks on the envelope.
  • Seal the inner secrecy envelope in the pre-addressed outer return envelope which the voter must sign.
  • Complete and sign the voter’s declaration on the outside of the outer return envelope. 
  • For the ballot to be counted, it must be enclosed in both envelopes and the voter must sign the outer envelope.

Pennsylvania voters also have the option of voting in person on election day at the polls, which will be open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., provided they have not already voted by mail ballot. They should wear a mask, bring their own blue- or black-ink pen and follow social distancing guidelines.

“Whichever of the three options you choose – voting by mail, early in-person by mail ballot or at the polls on election day – the important thing is to get out and vote,” Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said in a release.

For more information on voter registration, voting and elections call the Department of State’s toll-free hotline at 1-877-VOTESPA (1-877-868-3772) or visit votesPA.com.

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