BY: DAVID G. GREINEDER, IOM, ABC PENNSYLVANIA DIRECTOR OF GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many changes to the way we conduct our daily lives – including voting. Pennsylvania’s primary election was moved to Tuesday, June 2. Polls will be in operation from 7 am to 8 pm and will be expected to adhere to all COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
To ensure voters can cast ballots safely and efficiently, Pennsylvania has adopted a mail-in ballot process. To vote by mail, voters must first fill out an application. The easiest and quickest way to receive a mail-in ballot is to apply online. You must do so by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26. You can track the status of your application on the Pennsylvania Department of State’s website. If your application is accepted, you will receive a ballot with instructions from your local election office. Your completed ballot must be received by the local election office by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 2.
I would like to point out a few details to consider on the application process and ballot itself:
- On the application, you will be asked if you wish to receive an automatic mail-in ballot for the November General Election. Please Note: If you do not check this box and prefer to vote by mail in the November election, you must re-apply prior to the election.
- On the application, you will also be asked if you want the Commonwealth to send you an annual mail-in ballot application.
- On the ballot, a new election law has eliminated straight party voting, so please make sure you take the time to go through the ballot in its entirety.
If you will be away on June 2 or are anticipating long lines at the polls due to COVID-19 social distancing procedures, please consider voting by mail. By law, your mail-in ballot will be counted at your local election office where local political parties and legal counsel are permitted to have “watchers” monitoring the counting.
The mail-in ballot option has made voting safe and easy during these times. As we do our part to ensure family, friends, and co-workers are safe, let’s also do our part to elect good leaders to office.
Posted May 21, 2020