MAIL-IN AND ABSENTEE VOTING
Are you concerned about vote by mail because of USPS problems?
Yes, all of us are concerned about the Trump administration’s apparent attempt to disable the USPS. But the Congress and the national Democratic Party are working to fix this problem. If you receive your ballot and the USPS still has a problem or you do not want to risk mailing your ballot, Chester County will be setting up drop off locations around the county. When those are known we will post them.
Or, you can take your mail ballot to your polling place on election day and ask for it to be voided, and a regular ballot will be issued to you. Questions? Please call the Chester County Democratic Office at 610-692-5811.
Thanks to 2019 changes in PA voting law, you can vote by mail without giving any reason. Yes it is safe and secure (see more here)!
You can apply for a mail-in ballot at the State site. That page can be translated into many languages.
You can also download, print and complete a mail-in paper application or you can pick up a blank application form in person (bring identification) at Voter Services, 601 Westtown Rd, Suite 150, West Chester, PA 19380, in the Chesco Government Services Building, in West Goshen just east of West Chester Borough.
Get more background info here.
If you apply online and enter a driver’s license or PennDot ID number, indicate your name as on that document, not as in your voter ID card if different.
On the written application, your municipality is the political entity where you live (e.g., West Goshen), not your postal address (which, for West Goshen, would be West Chester). “Ward” applies to just a few municipalities, e.g., West Chester ward 3. “Voting district” refers to precinct number, which for that ward is 835. But those answers are not essential!
If you are planning to be away during the mail-in voting period, you can give an address other than your home to receive your mail-in ballot.
Voter Services must receive your application for a mail-in ballot one week in advance: by 5:00 p.m. on the Tuesday before the election. Postmarks do not count. But to be safe, apply as early as you can!
FILLING OUT AND SENDING YOUR BALLOT
When you are filling out the actual ballot, be sure to follow instructions precisely.
Don’t forget to fill out the BACK of the outer envelope.
Pennsylvania is planning to provide stamped return envelopes to mail your ballot in, but check your envelope before you mail it, and add a stamp if needed.
Voter Services must receive your mail-in ballot by 8:00 p.m. on election day. But try not to push the deadline! Postmarks do not count.
You can return your voted mail-in ballot by mailing it in the envelope provided with your ballot; or, you can drop it off in person at Voter Services, 601 Westtown Rd, Suite 150, West Chester, PA 19380 (if you choose this option, you must go yourself and take valid identification). There may also be other drop-off points for voters’ convenience, unless court challenges succeed,.
After you have sent in your application, you can check its status here.
If you didn’t return your ballot by the deadline or aren’t sure whether the County received your ballot in time, you may go to your polling place on election day and vote provisionally. However, if the County received your mail-in ballot on time, that will count and the provisional vote will not.
So if you are having trouble making up your mind whom to vote for, bear in mind: a timely mail-in ballot CANNOT BE CHANGED! Get all the info you need to be SURE about your votes!
If you qualify as an absentee voter, you must vote by absentee ballot. You will need to indicate your reason, either
• I will be absent from my municipality
• I have an illness or physical disability
Otherwise, the process is the same as for mail-in voting.
There is also a provision for emergency absentee voting if a sudden emergency (like being hospitalized) after the absentee ballot application deadline prevents you from going to the polls as planned.
WHAT IF I HAVE TROUBLE GETTING MY BALLOT?
If you applied for a mail-in ballot but have not received it within 2 or 3 weeks after you applied or after 50 days before the election, whichever is later, call Voter Services at (610) 344-6410 and inquire.
If you received a mail-in ballot but have not mailed it in time to expect the post office to get it to Voter Services on time, you can either:
1) Drop your completed ballot at Voter Services of one of drop-off sites in the County (locations TBA); or
2) Go to your polling place on election day between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m., tell poll workers that you did not mail in your ballot, and vote using a provisional ballot.
You may NOT submit a mail-in ballot at your polling place on election day.
THE LAST DAY TO APPLY FOR A MAIL-IN BALLOT IS 7 DAYS BEFORE EACH ELECTION but…
In every election, hundreds of ballots sent by mail were not counted in Chester County because they arrived after the deadline. Do not let this happen to your vote! Be sure Voter Services receives your voted ballot by election day. Your vote is important!
““Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part.” -- Sen. John Lewis, posthumous editorial
Chester County Democratic Committee
37 South High St., West Chester, PA 19382
(610) 692-5811 • [email protected]
© 2019 Chester County Democratic Committee