If travel plans or other uncertainty makes you in any way doubt that you’ll be able to vote, plan ahead prudently and request an absentee ballot (you can always change your mind and vote in person on election day). You can call Voter Services at 610-344-6410 or call the TTDems hotline at 484 474-0570 for an application by US mail or download an online absentee ballot request form with instructions. (If you need a ballot and didn’t apply before 5 p.m. on the Tuesday before the election, there are separate emergency absentee ballot processes for last-minute requests – see absentee ballot information on VotesPA.)
When must the ballot be returned?
All domestic voted absentee ballots must be received by Voter Services no later 5:00 p.m. on the Friday prior to the primary or general election. Overseas and military have more time.
Absentee voting by mail is accomplished through a 2-step process:
- You apply to receive an absentee ballot by mailing in a request form.
- After receiving your ballot, you then complete and mail it in.
Who should vote absentee?
- College students are encouraged to vote by absentee ballot.
- People who work in Philadelphia and might be affected by SEPTA or the Schuylkill Expressway (I-76) should vote absentee.
- People who are caregivers and may have to respond to emergency calls should vote absentee.
- Anyone who travels for business and may be called away on short notice should vote absentee.
If you think that there is a possibility of not being able to vote due to travel, work, illness or disability, or caregiving, by all means apply for and file an absentee ballot. If, in the end, you are able to go to the polls on election day, you may vote there. Your vote at the polls supersedes your absentee ballot, and the absentee ballot is returned to Voter Services unopened.