The 2020 presidential election is fast approaching and so are the deadlines to register to vote and request an absentee ballot. Voters are increasingly choosing absentee and mail-in ballots because they are a convenient way to vote.
Below, Schmidt Kramer outlines the proper steps to take to vote by mail in Pennsylvania and make sure your vote is counted in November.
Make Sure You Are Registered to Vote
On the Pennsylvania Department of State’s website, you can check your registration status and register to vote online. The deadline to register online, by mail and in-person is Monday, October 19th.
Voting By Mail/Absentee Voting
When returning your ballot, make sure to do the following:
- Mark your ballot – Make sure to verify your selections carefully. Any mistake could disqualify your mail or absentee ballot.
- Pack and seal it – Place your ballot in the “Official Elections Ballot” envelope and seal it. The “Official Elections Ballot” envelope must then be placed in the larger ballot-return envelope and sealed.
- Sign and date it – Complete the Voter’s Declaration on the back of the ballot-return envelope and make sure that it is signed and dated.
It is important that you mail in your ballot as soon as possible. The ballot must be received by Election Day, which is Tuesday, November 3rd at 8 p.m. If the ballot is returned by mail, it must be postmarked by 8 p.m. on Election Day. There is no postage necessary.
If you decide to return the ballot in person, it must be dropped off at the County Board of Elections, during normal business hours, or by 8 p.m. on Election Day. For those who reside in Harrisburg, this would be the Dauphin County Administration Building, located on the first floor, at 2 South 2nd Street. Their hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
It is important to note that if you plan on delivering your ballot in person, it must be done by you. A ballot cannot be returned by a spouse or family member.
Should your ballot get lost or a mistake is made on the ballot, reach out to Dauphin County right away at (717) 780-6360.