VOTING BY ABSENTEE OR MAIL-IN BALLOT
As a result of Act 77 passed late last year, Pennsylvania voters now have two options to receive and vote a ballot prior to Election Day.
As a result of Act 77 passed late last year, Pennsylvania voters now have two options to receive and vote a ballot prior to Election Day. You may either choose an absentee ballot or a mail-in ballot to request, complete, and return to the Voter Registration Office. Please read the following descriptions to determine which ballot you should apply for:
1) Absentee Ballot Application (For voters who can’t go to the polls on Election Day)
A voter may apply for and receive an absentee ballot for the upcoming election if they are registered to vote and fall into one of the following criteria:
- A person is absent from their municipality the entire time the polls are open (example: college students, vacationers, truck drivers, etc.)
- Those who cannot attend the polls because of illness or disability
- A person who will not go to the polls because of observing a religious holiday
- Inmates who haven’t been convicted of a felony
2) Mail-in Ballot Application (For voters who don’t want to go to the polls on Election Day)
A voter may apply for and receive a mail-in ballot for the upcoming election if they are registered to vote and who are not eligible for an absentee ballot but who wish to vote by mail instead of in person at the polling place. No excuse or reason is required.
How does a member of the military vote?
Military and Overseas Civilians must submit a Federal Post Card Application by going to www.fvap.gov.
How does a voter get placed on a permanent absentee list if they have a permanent disability?
A voter must complete Section C on the Application for Absentee Ballot which requires a physician’s signature. Once you are on this list, you will have an absentee ballot application mailed to you by the first Monday in February each year. If you complete and return the application, the county will send you ballots in the mail for all the elections that take place that year, as well as for any special election held through the third Monday of February of the next year.
What is an annual Mail-in ballot request?
A voter now has the option to request to be added to an annual mail-in ballot request list by checking the designated box under Item #7 on the application. Once your application is approved, you will automatically receive ballots for the remainder of that year without submitting a new application request form. You will also receive an application to renew your mail-in ballot request each year thereafter.
How to Apply for an Absentee Ballot or Mail-in Ballot?
A voter who desires to vote by absentee ballot or mail-in ballot must complete an application and submit it to their County Board of Elections in one of the following ways:
1. Apply online at https://www.votespa.com/ApplyAbsentee. (Voter must have a PA Driver’s License or PA Identification Card to use this option)
2. Download and print a PDF application and send it to the address listed below. Applications in both English and Spanish can be found at the County’s website or the state’s website at https://www.votespa.com/ApplyAbsentee.
3. Voters may request an absentee or mail-in ballot application by calling 717-261-3812.
All applications can be mailed to:
Voter Registration Office
157 Lincoln Way East
Chambersburg, PA 17201
or faxed to (717) 261-3131
What is the Deadline to Apply for an Absentee or Mail-in Ballot?
All applications must be completed, signed by the elector, and received by the Franklin County Voter Registration Office no later than 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 27th. There are provisions made for individuals that need an emergency ballot after the Tuesday before the election. Contact the Franklin County Voter Registration Office at 717-261-3886 for additional details.
When will ballots be mailed out to voters that have already applied?
Franklin County’s goal is to mail out ballots to those who have submitted an application no later than the week of September 28th.
How do I vote with an Absentee or Mail-in ballot?
1. Mark your paper ballot, following the instructions found on the ballot.
2. Place your ballot in the secrecy envelope and then put the secrecy envelope into the official envelope. Be sure to sign the declaration envelope or your ballot may not count.
3. Return your voted ballot to the Voter Registration Office, either in-person or by mail, making sure it arrives on time.
What is the Deadline to Return the Voted Absentee or Mail-in Ballot?
Voted ballots must be received by the County no later than 8:00 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3rd . Postmarks do not count. When returning a ballot by mail, please allow three (3) days for local delivery and 4-5 days for longer distances.
IMPORTANT: A voter who applies for an absentee ballot or mail-in ballot is not eligible to vote at a polling place on Election Day, except by provisional ballot UNLESS they surrender their ballot and declaration envelope. The pollworkers will then spoil the absentee/mail-in ballot and allow the voter to cast a regular ballot.
Where can I return my voted ballot if I do not want to mail it back?
There are two locations where a voter can hand deliver their voted ballot back in-person. Per election law, each voter is required to return their own ballot and cannot deliver one for their spouse, child, etc. These two County offices are open Monday-Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm. Franklin County will not be utilizing drop boxes due to safety and security concerns.
1. Franklin County Voter Registration Office
Old Courthouse on Memorial Square, 1st Floor
2 North Main Street
2. Franklin County Commissioners’ Office/County Board of Elections
(across from the Corpus Christi Church)
340 North Second Street
Any questions concerning absentee ballots should be directed to the Voter Registration Office at (717) 261-3886 or the Franklin County Election Board at (717) 261-3810. You can also find additional election information on the County’s website at www.franklincountypa.gov.
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