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Acting Secretary Of State Reminds Voters The Deadline To Apply For Mail-In And Absentee Ballots Is May 10

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According to a state press release

Acting Secretary of State Leigh M. Chapman today reminded Pennsylvania voters the deadline to apply to vote by mail for the May primary election is 5 p.m., May 10, 2022.

On May 17, Pennsylvania voters will select their parties’ nominees for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, governor, lieutenant governor, all state house seats, state senate seats in even-numbered districts, and Democratic and Republican State Committee. The department’s candidate database shows candidates who are running for office.

Because Pennsylvania has closed primary elections, only voters registered as Democrats or Republicans may vote for their party’s nominees to run in the November 8, 2022, general election.

“Every eligible voter should have access to the ballot box,” Secretary Chapman said. “For those who either cannot physically get to their polling place on Election Day or prefer not to do so, voting by mail is a secure, accessible option.”

In Pennsylvania, two options exist for voting by mail: mail-in and absentee ballots.

Mail-in ballots

Any eligible Pennsylvania voter can request a mail-in ballot. Voters can apply for their ballot online or download and print an application from the Department of State’s website.

Voters do not have to provide any reason for requesting a mail-in ballot.

To date, more than 664,000 voters have applied for mail-in ballots ahead of the May 17 primary, Secretary Chapman said.

Absentee ballots

Voters who will be away from their home municipality on Election Day or who have a disability or illness that prevents them from going to the polls can apply for an absentee ballot. Examples include members of the military and overseas voters.

These voters can apply for an absentee ballot online or download and print an application from the department’s website. So far, more than 54,000 voters have applied for absentee ballots ahead of the May 17 primary, Secretary Chapman said.

Upon receiving the mail ballot, voters should:

  • Fill out the ballot by following the instructions on how to mark selections.
  • Seal the ballot in the inner secrecy envelope that says “official ballot.” Do not make any stray marks on the envelope.
  • Then seal the inner secrecy envelope in the pre-addressed outer return envelope.
  • Sign and date the voter’s declaration on the outside of the outer return envelope.

Under Pennsylvania law, voters are only allowed to mail or return their own ballot to their county board of elections. The only exceptions to this rule are for voters with a disability who have designated someone in writing to deliver their ballot, or for voters who need an emergency absentee ballot.

County boards of election offices must receive all completed mail ballots – whether they are mail-in or absentee ballots – by 8 p.m. on Election Day, May 17. Mail ballots received after that time, even if postmarked by 8 p.m. May 17, will not count.

Polls will be open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day for those voters who want to vote in person.For more information about all voting options, voters can visit vote.pa.gov or call 1-877-VOTESPA (1-877-868-3772).