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April 30, 2017

Deadline to request absentee ballots in Pennsylvania quickly approaching

Deadlines spark action, but Pennsylvania officials are urging potential voters this week not to hold off until the last minute to request absentee ballots.

Secretary of State Pedro Cortés reminded state residents who are unable to go to their local polling place on the day of the primary election about the procedure for casting a ballot.

Polls will be open on Tuesday, May 16, which means deadlines are quickly approaching. Cortés warns affected voters that additional obstacles could impede the successful casting of a absentee ballot.

“The statutory deadlines have become increasingly unrealistic due to changes in service by the U.S. Postal Service,” Cortés said. “Anyone who is planning to return the completed absentee ballot by mail risks missing the deadline.”

The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is Tuesday, May 9 - a week before the primary election - and completed ballot must be returned on Friday, May 12 by 5 p.m. To be counted, votes must be received in a county elections office by the deadline as a postmarked envelope won't suffice.

Only deployed military members, students attending out-of-state colleges, individuals with illnesses or disabilities and business people who will out of town on Election Day are eligible to cast an absentee ballot.

A downloadable form can be found on the Department of State's website.