Get Out The Vote (Or Stay In And Vote From Home)

March 9, 2020
Laura E. McGarry

For the first time, you can now cast your ballot by mail. Recently enacted election reform laws now allow all registered voters in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to vote by mail. Prior to the change in the law, only voters who obtained an absentee ballot, after explaining why they were unable to vote in person, could vote by mail. Now, anyone who wishes to, regardless of whether they are or are not able to make it to their polling place, can vote by mail.

You can check your voter registration status online to determine if you are registered to vote and where your polling place is. You can also register to vote online or by mailing a voter registration form to your county voter registration office.

To apply for a mail-in ballot, you can fill out an application on the Votes PA website or submit a paper application to your county election office. Either way, you will need to have your Pennsylvania Driver’s License or PennDOT ID number handy. The deadline to apply for a mail-in ballot is one week before the election. If your application is approved, you will receive your ballot in the mail with instructions on how to submit it.

The deadline to return your mail-in ballot is 8:00 p.m. on election day.

There is also an option to request to be added to an annual mail-in ballot list. By doing so, you will automatically receive an application to receive a mail-in ballot each year.

The last day to apply for a mail-in ballot for the 2020 April general primary April 21, 2020.

Laura McGarry is an attorney at Russell, Krafft & Gruber, LLP in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She received her law degree from Penn State Law and provides legal counsel to individuals and businesses in Lancaster and surrounding communities.