(WHTM) – November 1 is the deadline for Pennsylvania voters to request a mail-in or absentee ballot. With a deadline of 8 p.m. on November 8, time is running out not only for voters to return their ballot, but even receive one.
According to data from the Pennsylvania Department of State, there have been 854,878 vote-by-mail ballots returned as of October 31. Applications were accepted for 1,397,218 vote by mail requests, meaning about 61% of requested mail ballots have been returned.
Ten counties are at or below the statewide return average, according to the Department of State data. The lowest is Lebanon County with only 39% of ballots returned.
Fulton, Butler, and Chester counties are the only others with less than 50% returned. Among the counties with more than 70% returned, most are rural with only a few requests.
Election officials notified a mail-in voter that his ballot was sent on October 4 and more than three weeks later he still hasn’t gotten it.
Acting Pennsylvania Secretary of State Leigh Chapman says voters should call their county election office or the 1-877-Votes-PA hotline.
Cumberland County is encouraging voters who have not yet received their ballots to come into the election office to cancel the missing mail-in and get a replacement ballot. Voters are also being encouraged to drop off their mail ballots in person.
Voters can also go to their polling place and vote via a provisional ballot.
“That’s the best bet to vote provisional or go to the elections office directly,” says Rep. Seth Grove (R-York), who chairs the State Government Committee.
If you have your mail-in ballot or are requesting one, election officials say don’t trust the mail to get it there on time.
“It is an impossibility to apply that last day and have the county approve it, mail it out to you, and then mail it back. It is impossible to do,” said Rep. Grove.
While there are some issues around mail-ins, the Secretary of State is confident things will go smoothly on Election Day.
“Our 67 counties are ready to execute a secure and accessible election.”