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Mail-in ballot returns top half a million | 2023 Election Mailbag

By: - November 1, 2023 2:00 pm

The secrecy envelope that Pennsylvania ballots must be placed in to avoid a naked ballot (Pittsburgh City Paper photo by Abbie Adams)

Welcome to the last edition of the 2023 Election Mailbag. 

In lieu of questions, we’re breaking down data on mail-in ballots from the Department of State’s Statewide Uniform Registry of Electors (SURE) system this week. 

Here’s what the data shows:

As of Nov. 1, Pennsylvania voters requested a total of 1,026,227 absentee and mail-in ballots.

Of that number, 931,145 Pennsylvania voters requested a mail-in ballot and 95,082 voters requested an absentee ballot ahead of the municipal election.

Registered Democrats requested 723,746 mail-in and absentee ballots compared to 215,286 Republicans and 87,195 requests from “other” registered voters. 

The same data show that 570,553 voters returned their ballots as of Wednesday morning, including 536,207 mail-in ballots and 34,346 absentee ballots.

Of those ballots returned statewide, 417,829 were ballots from registered Democrats and 114,149 were from those registered as Republicans. 

“Other” ballots from unspecified party registration made up 38,575 of the total ballots returned, according to state data. 

The Department of State asked the public to be “patient” while results are being counted by officials on Nov. 7, reminding voters that Pennsylvania’s election law does not allow counties to begin pre-canvassing mail-in and absentee ballots before 7 a.m. on Election Day. 

“Giving election workers time to accurately and securely count each vote is our top priority, and so we ask for patience as we await results,” Secretary of State Al Schmidt said.

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry.