Pennsylvania Residents: Do This to Make Sure Your Vote Counts
Steven T. Lowe
Vote early and use dropbox. Instructions below.
With the Presidential General Election rapidly approaching, Pennsylvania residents should be aware of the voting options available to them. Developing a plan to vote increases the likelihood that your ballot will be counted. While this firm cannot and is not providing legal advice, we do offer the following information for Pennsylvania residents.
In the midst of a pandemic, voting at the polls may not be a viable option for many Pennsylvanians. Fortunately, the state of Pennsylvania offers alternative ways for its residents to cast their vote. In 2019, Pennsylvania Governor, Torn Wolf, signed an electlon reform bill, Act 77, into law. Act 77 delineates improvements to Pennsylvania’s elections, allowing for more convenient and secure voting methods. The Act allows for more voters to be able to vote by mail-in ballot, provides them with more time to register to vote and return their absentee or mail- in ballots, and affords ninety million dollars in funding for new voting systems. Each of these implementations facilitates an increasingly efficient voting system, which is furthered by establishing ballot drop boxes.
As an alternative to having voters return their completed vote-by-mail ballots in the mail or vote in person, Pennsylvania’s Election Officials have implemented an accessible, transparent, and convenient program for voters to drop off their mail ballot in a secure drop box. Ballot drop boxes are locked boxes that allow voters to cast absentee ballots without having to rely on the USPS. Before dropping your ballot off in a drop box, be sure to place your voted ballot card inside the Official Return Envelope, seal the envelope, and sign and date the back of the envelope. The ballots will then be collected by election officials.
Considering Pennsylvania is a key battleground state, election officials are adding fifty ballot drop boxes across the region ahead of the Presidential General Election to streamline voting, despite President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign’s attempt to stop the use of drop boxes in Pennsylvania. In light of current public health concerns, attending a polling place to vote may not be the most attractive or agreeable option for many voters. Early voting has already begun.
Pennsylvania residents can visit the Pennsylvania Aliqlication for Mail-In Ballot website to download and fi11 out a form to request a vote-by-mail ballot. Pennsylvanians must submit their application to receive a mail-in ballot by mail no later than October 27, 2020; but it is better to do that immediately. If you do not receive your vote-by-mail ballot before November 2nd, contact your county elections official to receive a second ballot. After you receive and complete your mail-in ballot, place your ballot in the secrecy envelope. The completed ballot must be returned by 8 p.m. on November 3, 2020. The ballot can be hand-delivered to your county election office, mailed, or more conveniently, dropped off in a ballot drop box location in your county. To find information regarding drop box voting, Pennsylvanians can visit ‹›lcsti.Lcorn. To track their ballots to ensure they are counted, Pennsylvania voters can visit https://www,pavotcivsci vices,t›a.Nov/pages/ballottrackinp.asnx.
Voting via ballot drop box helps to ensure the election remains fair in light of the assault upon the US Postal Service. With the coming election being the most important in our nation’s history, developing a plan to exercise your right to vote is essential. Utilizing the ballot drop boxes ensures the integrity of our democracy by protecting your vote.