Can’t make it to the polls on Election Day? Here’s how to request a new mail-in ballot online
To vote from the comfort of your home, all you need to request a new, mail-in ballot for the April 28 primary is to fill out a form on the Pennsylvania Department of State’s website.
To apply for a mail-in ballot, you must apply by 5 p.m. on April 21, one week before the election.
By law, counties can only start processing mail-in ballots 50 days before the election — or March 9 for this year’s primary, according to the Department of State.
Once the names on the ballot are final, counties can start to mail ballots to voters, or provide them in-person at the county’s election office, the department said.
After receiving the ballot, you must return it by mail or in person to the county election’s office by 8 p.m. on Election Day, when polls close, the department added.
Previously, Pennsylvania voters could only mail their ballot if they were voting absentee and met certain requirements, including being away at college, or if they were an active duty service member serving away from home. Now, Pennsylvanians do not need an excuse to vote by mail.
The change was approved in fall 2019 as part of an omnibus reform law of the state’s antiquated election code.
Voters can still apply for absentee ballots online. They can also apply for either an absentee ballot or a mail-in ballot in person at their county election’s office, or by mailing in a printed application form, the department said.
Within the online application, voters can apply to be added to a list of automatic mail-in ballot voters. Department of State spokesperson Wanda Murren said such voters only need to return an application each February to ensure they will receive a ballot from their county before each year’s primary, general, and any special elections.
You can apply for an mail-in ballot here. You must be registered to vote to apply.
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