HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — On Tuesday, the Secretary of the Commonwealth Al Schmidt reminded all Pennsylvania voters that they have until Oct. 31 at 5 p.m. to apply for a mail ballot.

“Voting by mail is a safe, secure, and convenient way to make your voice heard in the upcoming election,” Schmidt said. “Voters can apply online for a mail-in or absentee ballot, or they can apply in person at their county board of elections office. I encourage all voters to take time today to request their mail ballot so they have plenty of time to receive it and then return the voted ballot before the deadline, which is 8 p.m. on Nov. 7.”

The Department said that as soon as voters receive the mail ballot, they should do the following:

  • Read the instructions carefully.
  • Fill out the ballot, being sure to follow instructions on how to mark selections. 
  • Seal the ballot in the inner secrecy envelope marked “Official Election Ballot.” Be careful not to make any stray marks on the envelope.
  • Seal the secrecy envelope in the pre-addressed outer return envelope.
  • Complete the voter’s declaration on the outer envelope by signing and writing the current date.
  • Affix a postage stamp to the outer envelope before mailing. 

The mail ballot must be received by the voter’s county board of elections by 8 p.m. on election day, which is Nov. 7, 2023. Any mail ballots that are received after that time do not count, even if a postmark on the ballot is before the deadline.

Voters who received a mail-in ballot but choose instead to vote in person on Nov. 7 have to bring the mail ballot and outer return envelope with them to be voided. After those materials are surrendered, the voter may then vote in person.

Voters who requested a mail ballot and did not receive it or do not have it to surrender may vote by provisional ballot at their polling place. This ballot will be reviewed by the county board of elections after Election Day to determine whether it can be counted.

Pennsylvania voters also have the option of voting in person on Election Day at the polls, which will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Nov. 7. Voters can find their polling place by clicking here