From: Latanishen, Steve <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Tuesday, February 11, 2020 3:44 PM
Subject: INFORMATION: PA DOS Online Absentee and Mail-In Ballot Application available now!
Good Afternoon Elections Stakeholders!
I have a very exciting announcement on behalf of Secretary Boockvar and we need your help in sharing it via your social media accounts, email networks, Letters to the Editor, and to partner organizations to ensure it is seen by as many Pennsylvanians as possible.
As of today the online application for mail-in ballots is now available! Mail-in ballots are new this year thanks to Act 77, and will provide a brand new option for Pennsylvanians who do not qualify for absentee ballots. Mail-in ballots are a major step toward making voting in Pennsylvania easier and more accessible for eligible voters. In addition to applying for a mail-in ballot via this new online application, Pennsylvanians can also apply to receive mail-in or absentee ballots for every election taking place this year. Please see below for additional descriptions provided by our Communications Office:
Under Act 77, Pennsylvania voters now have several ways to vote if they choose not to go to the polls or are unable to get to the polls on election day: mail-in ballot or absentee ballot, both of which they can vote via the mail or in person at their county election office:
- Mail-in ballots are for voters who simply wish to vote by mail before election day, instead of going to their polling place on election day. They do not have to give a reason or excuse. They can apply online for a mail-in ballot, or download and print the application and mail it to their county election office. Voters can also apply for and vote the ballot in person at their county election office during business hours.
- Absentee ballots are for 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. Absentee voters must give a reason. Examples of absentee ballot voters include college students away at school, members of the military, people absent from their home municipality because of work or a vacation and people who cannot go to the polls because they are observing a religious holiday.
Both mail-in and absentee voters will receive a ballot in the mail to complete and return to their county election office by 8 p.m. on election day. The online application allows mail-in voters to request that their county election office add them to an annual mail-in voter ballot request list. Their ballot application will then be automatically mailed to them each year. ID requirements for mail-in and absentee ballots can be found at www.votespa.com.
Counties must begin processing mail-in and absentee ballot applications 50 days before the election. For the April primary, that will be March 9. As soon as the ballot is finalized, the counties will mail ballots to voters or provide them in-person at the county election office.
Again, please help us to spread the word as swiftly as possible through your networks about this exciting new feature implemented thanks to Act 77, and remember to visit votesPA.com for all election-related information. If you have any questions or concern please reach out to me at any time.
As always, thank you for your advocacy, and your passion for keeping our Commonwealth’s democracy vibrant and accessible to all Pennsylvanians!
Stephen Latanishen | Director
Office of Intergovernmental Affairs | Pennsylvania Department of State
309 North Office Building | Harrisburg, PA 17120
Office: 717-214-6679 | Cell: 717-649-4735