FAQ on Mail-In Voting

 

York County wants to answer some frequently asked questions about voting in the General Election on Nov. 3.

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LAST DAY TO APPLY FOR MAIL-IN BALLOT IS TUESDAY, OCT. 27

AM I REGISTERED TO VOTE?

You can look this up online! You can look this up online! Click here to verify your voter registration.

HOW DO I REGISTER TO VOTE?
The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 3 election wass Oct. 19.

MailBallot Deadlines GeneralElection

WHAT IF I NEED TO MAKE A CHANGE TO MY REGISTRATION?
You can change your registration at this link.

HOW DO I SIGN UP TO VOTE BY MAIL OR ABSENTEE AND WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO?
Absentee ballots are for people who will be absent from their municipality on election day, or for those that have an illness or disability that results in an inability to vote at their polling location. Mail-in ballots are for people who do not want to go to their polling places. More information on the two methods and how to sign up for them can be found here.

DID I SIGN UP TO RECEIVE A MAIL-IN BALLOT IN NOVEMBER?
If you're not sure if you checked the "permanent" box on your mail-in application, click on this link, select “Election Ballot Status” and enter your information. As of now, your status will be listed as "pending." Closer to the election, you will see when your ballot is mailed and when your vote has been received by our office.

CAN I WITHDRAW MY REQUEST FOR A MAIL-IN BALLOT AND VOTE IN PERSON IN NOVEMBER?
If you received a ballot in the mail in the primary AND checked the box to permanently vote by mail and DO NOT WISH to receive a ballot through the mail in the fall, you can print and fill out a form titled: “REQUEST TO CANCEL PERMANENT ABSENTEE OR MAIL-IN STATUS.” This form is accessible here. Once filled out, it must be submitted to our office. By state law, we cannot make changes from an email or phone request

WHERE CAN I RETURN MY VOTER REGISTRATION OR MAIL-IN BALLOT APPLICATION IN PERSON?
Voters can come in to the Voter Registration and Elections Office to drop off all documents to change or modify your registered elector information or to drop off your voter registration or mail-in ballot applications, including their ballots, in the lower level of the county’s Administrative Center at 28 E. Market St., York, PA 17401. Voters have until 8 p.m. on Nov. 3 to submit their mail-in ballot to the Elections office. Ballots placed in the mail have until Friday, Nov. 6, at 5 p.m. to be received by the Elections office.

WHAT IS THE DEADLINE TO RETURN MY MAIL IN OR ABSENTEE BALLOT?
Voters have until 8 p.m. on Nov. 3 to submit their Mail-in ballot or Absentee to the Elections office in person by hand delivery. This must be of your own ballot. The Court now permits mail-in and absentee ballots that are placed in the mail with the United States Postal Service and are postmarked by Nov. 3 at 8 p.m. and received by the Elections Office by Friday, Nov. 5, 2020, at 5 p.m. to be counted and tabulated.

WHEN CAN I EXPECT MY MAIL-IN BALLOT?
Final election ballots must be certified by the State. Ballots for those individuals that requested permanent mail-in ballots before the primary are being processed and mailed. Applications received after the primary are being reviewed, approved and processed on a rolling basis.

 

WILL THERE BE A SECURE DROP BOX FOR MY MAIL-IN BALLOT?
The only secure drop box is at the front door of the York County Administrative Center at 28 E. Market St., York. You can drop off your mail-in ballots to the secure drop box as follows:

  • Oct. 1 to Nov. 2, Monday through Friday - The drop box shall be located outside the lobby of the Administrative Center from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Oct. 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Drive-up access in front of the York County Administrative Center, 28 E. Market St., York, PA 17401
  • Sunday, Nov. 1, from 1 to 4 p.m. - Drive-up access in front of the York County Administrative Center, 28 E. Market St., York, PA 17401
  • Election Day, Nov. 3, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. - Drive-up access in front of the York County Administrative Center, 28 E. Market St., York, PA 17401

 

CAN I RETURN MY SPOUSE OR ADULT CHILD’S MAIL IN BALLOT TO THE ELECTION OFFICE? 
A Registered Elector may only return their own ballot to the Elections Office unless they are returning a ballot for a disabled individual which will require that the disabled person and the designated individual complete and sign an “Authorized Designated Agent for Mail In or Absentee Ballot” which can be found online at votespa.com.

IF I REQUESTED A MAIL IN OR ABSENTEE BALLOT AND DO NOT RETURN IT TO THE ELECTIONS OFFICE BY 8 PM ON NOV. 3 CAN I STILL VOTE AT MY POLL?

If you applied for a mail in ballot and a mail in ballot was placed in the mail to you, you will be noted in the poll books at your precinct as having received a mail in ballot. You will be permitted to vote by provisional ballot ONLY, UNLESS you bring your ballot, secrecy envelope and the outer envelope which contains the voter declaration on it. You will also be required to sign a declaration certifying that you have not voted by any other method. After the Judge of Elections verifies that you did not complete an Over the Counter Ballot at the Elections Office, you will then be permitted to cast a regular vote. If all of these qualifications cannot be met, you will be provided a Provisional Ballot. 

IF I APPLIED FOR A MAIL-IN BALLOT AND REGISTERED TO VOTE AT THE SAME TIME WILL MY MAIL-IN REQUEST BE REJECTED IF THE REGISTRATION IS NOT FINALIZED FIRST?

No, if you applied for a mail-in ballot at the same time that you registered to vote, your mail-in application will be held until the registration has been completed and verified. You will not be permitted to register to vote and vote at the same time. Your registration must be approved before a ballot can be provided to you, which will take between 24-48 hours.

IF I SUBMITTED A PAPER APPLICATION FOR A MAIL-IN BALLOT AND HAVE NOT RECEIVED IT SHOULD I REAPPLY ONLINE FOR THE MAIL-IN BALLOT?
No. If you have submitted a paper application for a mail-in ballot, please check online to verify your application approval at votespa.com, or call the Elections Office if you applied before Sept. 1, 2020. Do not apply more than one time for a mail-in ballot or for a change in address or voter registration as such duplicate applications will only further delay the verification and approval process.

I RECEIVED NOTICE THAT MY MAIL-IN BALLOT APPLICATION WAS REJECTED. WHAT DO I DO?
If you receive notification that your mail-in ballot application was rejected, contact the Elections Office at 717-771-9604. Be prepared to address the reasons for rejection of the application. Common reasons for rejection:
- Failure to include apartment number or specific address identification.
- Incorrect birthdate. 
- Incorrect Driver License Number.
- Incorrect address and no updated address form is on file.
- Incomplete application.

DO I HAVE TO RETURN MY MAIL-IN BALLOT IN THE “SECRECY ENVELOPE?"
Yes, The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has ruled that your mail-in ballot must be returned to the Elections Office in the envelope on which is printed “Official Election Ballot”, and that envelope must be inside the envelope addressed to the Elections Office. Further, the Official Election Ballot envelope must also be returned without any TEXT, MARK OR SYMBOL that would reveal your identity or your political affiliation or candidate preference. Any ballots returned with a marked up envelope or returned without the “secrecy” envelope must be set aside and declared void.

THE STATE EMAILED/TEXTED AND TOLD ME THAT MY BALLOT WAS APPROVED. WHY HAVE I NOT RECEIVED IT YET? 
The ballots were placed in the mail late in the week of Oct. 5 for York County registered voters. The confirmation email that you received was from the state and everyone across the state received the same message, which is not accurate. 

WHY DO YOU CONTINUE TO SEND ME MAIL-IN BALLOT APPLICATIONS?
The Elections Office is not sending mail-in ballot applications to anyone who has not specifically requested it from the Elections Office. Any mail-in ballot applications that you are receiving are coming from third party groups and not from the York County Elections Office.

WHERE CAN I VOTE EARLY FOR THE GENERAL ELECTION?
Pennsylvania DOES NOT permit early voting. Mail-in voting, which allows you to return your completed ballot to the Elections Office before Election Day, is not considered early voting as those ballots cannot be opened and tabulated until Election Day.

DO I HAVE TO CHANGE MY POLITICAL PARTY TO VOTE FOR A CERTAIN CANDIDATE IN THE GENERAL ELECTION?
No. There are no separate ballots by political party for the General Election.

WILL I BE PERMITTED TO OBTAIN AN IN-PERSON OR OVER THE COUNTER BALLOT AT THE ELECTIONS OFFICE IN ADVANCE OF THE NOV. 3 ELECTION?
The Pennsylvania Department of State issued guidance on Sept. 28 regarding this issue. Registered voters can request and cast an absentee or mail-in ballot at the elections office during regular business hours in advance of Election Day. The application must be completed and the application must be reviewed and qualified. Once qualified, the voter will be provided a ballot, secrecy envelope and declaration envelope to be filled out and returned to the office staff. Please note this process will require proof of identification to verify the registered voter and obtain a ballot.

I RECEIVED SEVERAL EMAILS SAYING THAT I WOULD BE RECEIVING MY MAIL-IN OR ABSENTEE BALLOT. DOES THAT MEAN I WILL RECEIVE MULTIPLE BALLOTS?

No. Due to a setting in the election system, multiple emails were issued when ballots began to be mailed out to voters. Despite the multiple emails, each registered voter will only be issued one ballot.

I FILLED MY BALLOT OUT IN BLUE INK. WILL IT STILL BE VALID?
As long as the circles are darkened you may use blue or black ink. It is likely a pencil will also have no issues being read by the scanner as long as the circles are darkened. Red ink will not be read by the scanners, so please do not use red ink to fill out your ballot.

I SIGNED MY NAME IN THE DECLARATION AREA BUT PUT MY BIRTHDATE WHERE TODAY'S DATE SHOULD GO. WILL MY BALLOT BE ACCEPTED?
Yes, your ballot will be accepted. Cross out your birthdate if located in the incorrect area, date the declaration and initial the change.

PLEASE NOTE: THE ELECTIONS OFFICE WILL CLOSE AT 3:30 PM EACH DAY FOR PROCESSING OF OVER THE COUNTER BALLOTS.

 

 

 

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