May 19, 2020
Mail-in Voting in Franklin County
Franklin County Election Board wants to remind any voters that have already applied or will be applying for either an absentee or mail-in ballot to keep the following things in mind.
Photo: Voter Registration Chief Registrar Jennie Aines processing returned Absentee and Mail-in ballots.
With the June 2, 2020 General Primary fast approaching, the Franklin County Election Board wants to remind any voters that have already applied or will be applying for either an absentee or mail-in ballot to keep the following things in mind:
What is the deadline for applying, either online or by mail, for an absentee or mail-in ballot?
Voters have until 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26th, to apply for their ballot. Keep in mind that once Voter Registration receives an application, a ballot has to be mailed to the voter, voted and then returned to Voter Registration by mail or in person. For this reason voters are encouraged to not wait until the last minute. Voters can access the online application at www.votespa.com.
What is the deadline to return a voted ballot?
A voter has until 8:00 p.m. on Election Day (June 2nd) to return their voted ballot to the Voter Registration Office which is located on the first floor of the Old Courthouse which sets on the square in Chambersburg. If a voter wants to insure it arrives timely, they are encouraged to drop it off to the lobby of the Old Courthouse up until 8:00 p.m. on June 2nd. Voters are also permitted to drop of their voted ballot to the Commissioners’ Office located at 340 North Second Street in Chambersburg across from the Corpus Christi Church. While the County has mailed out over 10,000 ballots thus far, we have only received 4,000 voted ballots back.
Can I deliver my voted ballot to my polling place on Election Day?
No, the law requires the ballot must be delivered to the County, either at the Voter Registration Office or the County Board of Elections/Commissioners’ Office.
If I requested an absentee or mail-in ballot, but changed my mind and now want to vote in-person, will I be allowed to do so?
A voter will not be allowed to vote a “regular ballot” at the polling place since the pollworkers will not be able to confirm that the absentee or mail-in ballot wasn’t already voted and turned into Voter Registration. The only ballot a voter would be able to vote at their polling place is a “provisional ballot”. This is a ballot that is not counted at the polling place but returned to the County Board of Elections to research and determine if the voter is eligible to vote the ballot. If a voter has requested a ballot by mail, they are strongly urged to return their voted ballot to the County and not show up at their polling place on Election Day.
Is voting by mail safe in Franklin County?
While the mail-in ballot provision is brand new this year, Franklin County has had absentee balloting available for many, many years and have had no reports of fraudulent activity. The Voter Registration Office verifies each application by checking either the voter’s social security information or driver’s license information. Once the ballot is received back, the voter’s signature is compared to the one we have on file. All applications and ballots are processed locally in Franklin County by dedicated, trustworthy staff who make it their top priority to insure every allowable ballot is counted.
Is the new Mail-in ballot provision popular to area voters, especially with the concerns with the Covid-19 virus?
Yes, Franklin County has seen a huge response for the new Mail-in ballot. As of May 17, 2020, the Voter Registration has received 11,430 applications for either an absentee or mail-in ballot. In comparison, the County received 1074 absentee applications for the 2016 General Primary and 3385 for the 2016 Presidential Election, which were record breaker elections for our County. In fact, the County believes it will surpass the grand total of the past 8 years worth of absentee ballots which equaled 12,220.
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