Mail Ballot Applications for the May 18 Primary Near 750,000 Milestone

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Acting Secretary of State Veronica W. Degraffenreid announced on Monday that more than 741,500 Pennsylvanians have applied for mail ballots for the May 18 municipal primary election.

“This impressive number shows the popularity of no-excuse mail voting in the commonwealth,” Secretary Degraffenreid said. “Pennsylvanians have enthusiastically embraced this secure, convenient, and accessible voting option.”

As of this morning, 698,280 registered Pennsylvania voters have applied for a mail-in ballot and 43,602 voters have applied for an absentee ballot.

The bipartisan Act 77, enacted in late 2019, made no-excuse mail-in voting possible for the first time in Pennsylvania for the 2020 presidential primary. In the 2020 primary and general elections, Pennsylvanians cast a total of more than 4 million votes by mail. The general election saw record turnout, with approximately 800,000 more qualified Pennsylvanians voting than in any prior election.

The deadline to apply for a mail ballot for the May 18 primary election is just one week away. Voters have until 5 p.m. on May 11 to apply for a mail ballot through their county election board. Voted mail ballots must be received by the county election board by 8 p.m. on May 18, Election Day.

Voters also can vote early in person by mail-in or absentee ballot at their county election office, once their county’s ballots are available, until 5 p.m. on May 11. They can request a mail ballot, fill it out and return it on the spot. 

Voters who have not voted by mail ballot can vote in person at their polling place on Election Day. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on May 18.

Secretary Degraffenreid also reminded Pennsylvanians that today is the last day to register to vote in the May 18 primary.

Applicants using the online voter registration system must complete and submit their application by 11:59 p.m. tonight. Traditional paper voter registration forms must be received in county voter registration offices by close of business today.

On May 18, voters who are registered as Republican or Democrat will choose their parties’ nominees for seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Superior Court, Commonwealth Court, county Common Pleas Courts, and Philadelphia Municipal Court.

Also on the party ballots will be a wide variety of county, school board, and local seats such as mayor, city or borough council member, township commissioner or supervisor, magisterial district judges, and precinct election officials.

All registered voters, regardless of party affiliation, will be eligible to vote on four ballot questions. Three of the questions are proposed constitutional amendments, and the fourth question is a referendum on making municipal fire departments or companies with paid personnel and emergency medical services companies eligible for an existing state loan program.

In addition, all registered voters in the following four districts, regardless of party affiliation, will be voting in special elections to fill vacancies:

  • 22nd State Senate District (Lackawanna County and parts of Luzerne and Monroe counties)
  • 48th State Senate District (Lebanon County and parts of Dauphin and York counties)
  • 59th State House District (parts of Somerset and Westmoreland counties)
  • 60th State House District (parts of Armstrong, Butler, and Indiana counties)

For more information on voting and elections, call the Department of State’s toll-free hotline at 1-877-VOTESPA (1-877-868-3772) or visit votesPA.com.  


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