Acting Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar encouraged eligible Pennsylvania voters to submit applications for primary election absentee ballots before the May 14 deadline.
Under the state election code, applications for absentee ballots must be received no later than one week before Election Day. For this year’s May 21 primary election, the deadline falls on May 14. Voted ballots must be received by the appropriate county election office by 5 p.m. on May 17.
“The election code sets a tight turnaround time — just four days — between the last day Pennsylvania voters can request an absentee ballot and when their completed absentee ballot must be received,” Boockvar said. “That’s why it’s important to request an absentee ballot well in advance to ensure the vote is received in time to be counted.”
Absentee ballots may be cast by individuals with illnesses or disabilities, individuals who will be away from their municipality on business on Election Day, Pennsylvania students attending out-of-state colleges or universities, and deployed members of the military.
Completed ballots may be returned in person or mailed to the voter’s county election office. The voted ballots must be received in the county office by 5 p.m. the Friday before the May 21 primary. A timely postmark is not sufficient.
Absentee ballots voted by members of the military deployed overseas will be received until 5 p.m. on May 28 by county boards of elections.
Comprehensive information about absentee ballots, including a downloadable request form, can be found at the Department of State’s website votesPA.com.
Applicants will be asked to supply basic voter registration information and to specify a reason for applying to vote absentee.
Pennsylvanians applying for an absentee ballot must provide their driver’s license or PennDOT ID number. If they do not have a driver’s license or PennDOT ID, they must give the last four digits of their Social Security number. If a voter has neither, he or she must present a copy of an acceptable photo ID. A list of approved alternative types of identification is available at votesPA.com.
An absentee voter can designate someone else to deliver the absentee application and ballot if he or she is physically unable to do so. Certification of Designated Agent forms are also available online.
For additional information, call 1-877-VOTESPA (1-877-868-3772) or visit votesPA.com.