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How to vote by mail-in ballot for November election

The U.S. Postal Service recommends voters mail in their ballots at least one week before the state's deadline.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The 2020 general election is just under two months away and deadlines for mail-in ballots are quickly approaching. Many people have started to receive voting flyers in the mail or applications from non-government organizations.

Applying for a mail-in or absentee ballot is easy to do online. Registered voters can apply on VotesPA.com. If you provide an email address, you can receive real time updates on your application and track when your ballot is expected to arrive. 

The last day to apply for a mail-in ballot in Pennsylvania is October 27. However, the U.S. Postal Service recommends voters do not wait that long to apply in order to ensure their ballot arrives on election day.

“To account for delivery standards and to allow for contingencies (e.g., weather issues or unforeseen events), voters should mail their return ballots at least 1 week prior to the due date established by state law,” said Thomas Marshall, General Counsel and Executive Vice President for USPS.

In Pennsylvania, mail-in ballots are due by November 3 which means ballots should be sent in the mail no later than October 27.

If you receive a mail-in ballot, but decide you want to vote in person, you must bring your unmarked ballot and envelope to your polling place. Without them, you can only vote in-person by provisional ballot.

You can also bring your mail-in ballot to your county election office at any time, as long as it is before 8:00 pm on November 3.

For more information, visit the Pennsylvania Department of State’s website.

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