Clearing up ballot confusion as Pennsylvanians cast their vote

Local News

(WTAJ) — We are now less than two weeks away from Election Day, and the deadline for mail-in ballot applications for Pennsylvania is Tuesday, October 27th.

With recent changes in state laws and the ongoing pandemic, confusion surrounds the different types of ballots available this year.

In October 2019, Governor Wolf allowed any Pennsylvanian to apply for an absentee ballot for the 2020 Election. Before the new law, absentees were used only for those unable to vote in person, due to an illness or absence from their municipality.

“Pennsylvanians have been voting by absentee ballot for decades, so the only new thing here is that more people can do it because they don’t have to have an excuse, but the processes are the same,” Secretary Kathy Boockvar, from the Pennsylvania Department of State, said.

Aside from voting by mail, there are two different ballots available at the polls. If you did not request a mail-in ballot, you cast a traditional, paper ballot. A registered voter uses a provisional ballot when they’re not on the voter roster at the polling place.

No matter which way you decide to cast your vote, all ballots will be counted equally.

“Overseas and military ballots are allowed to be received until a week later. Provisional ballots take longer to count, but for the in-person voting and the mail-in and absentee ballots, it’s gonna be a matter of days,” Boockvar said.

Over nine million Pennsylvanians are registered to vote this year, nearly three million of them voting by mail.

“Apply today. Get your ballot in as soon as possible. The safest way to make sure that your ballot is counted is to make sure it is received by November 3rd,” Boockvar said.

Voters can also go early to their county election offices to vote in person without the typical election day line and wait-time.

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