Avoid the Crowd, VOTE BY MAIL in April Primary
Updated: Mar 23
Avoiding groups of ten or more is highly recommended. Pennsylvania has made it easy to do that when it comes to voting. Early voting, voting by mail, late registration, extended mail-in deadlines, and elimination of straight ticket voting. Pennsylvania’s voting process changes with the April 28, 2020 primary.
Bi-partisan voting reform legislation has moved Pennsylvania from having one of the most restrictive mail-in ballot states to one at least a little more voter friendly.
As of 2020, Pennsylvania voters no longer need an “excuse” to vote by mail -- all they need do is ask for the ballot. And they can request it online as long as they have a valid PA driver license or ID.
Voting by mail began March 9 -- 50 days before the April 28 primary. Mailed ballots can now be delivered up to 8 pm on election day. But your ballot must be actually received by the County Board of Elections by that date and time -- postmarks do not count.
You can also apply for a mail ballot up to seven days before the election.
But, absentee ballots have not gone away. If you are a college student voting from college, will be out of the voting district on election day, or are too infirm to make it to the polls, the new law requires that you vote using absentee ballots, instead of the new mail-in ballots.
Another change this year is the elimination of straight party ticket voting. If you want to vote only for candidates from a particular party, you will need to cast individual ballots for each candidate, instead of just checking the party ticket option as in years past.
Another change, which in Monroe County went into effect with the 2019 municipal elections, is that in-person voting is now done by hand-completed ballots which are then scanned. This meets the federal requirement that states provide a paper trail for all votes.
Complete information, as well as online voter registration, mail-in and absentee ballot applications, can be found at the voters website run by the Pennsylvania Secretary of State, at www.votespa.com.