Deployed Military Members Encouraged to Request Absentee Ballot

HARRISBURG – The Department of State and the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs want to ensure that Pennsylvania’s deployed military personnel vote in the May 18 primary election by using an official absentee ballot.

“This year’s elections come at a critical time in our history and those who are elected will craft policies that will shape our shared destiny,” Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro A. Cortés said. “We are making great efforts to inform our military electors about their voting rights and to ease the process of voting for our deployed troops.”

On May 18, voters will cast ballots for candidates for a variety of offices, including governor, lieutenant governor, state senator and representative, U.S. senator and U.S. representative.

An application for an absentee ballot may be downloaded from the Federal Voting Assistance Project Web site or the Department of State Web site at VotesPA.com. When complete, it must be mailed to the Board of Elections of the county where the military member legally resides. However, to ensure prompt delivery of an absentee ballot, military members are strongly urged to fax or e-mail a copy of the signed application to their county Board of Elections in addition to sending it by mail. The absentee ballot will be mailed to the military member promptly upon receipt of the fax or e-mail.
 
Under the state Election Code, requests that are made by fax or e-mail still require that a signed paper application for the absentee ballot is received prior to the Primary Election Day. An original signature is required by law.

In addition, completed absentee ballots must be postmarked no later than the day before the election. Voted absentee ballots from members of the military must be postmarked no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, May 17, and received by the county board of elections by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 25.
 
“I encourage family members to contact their deployed service members to encourage them to request an absentee ballot so that they can vote in Pennsylvania’s upcoming primary,” said Maj. Gen. Jessica L. Wright, the state’s adjutant general.  “The right to vote is one of the many freedoms vitally important for all Pennsylvanians, particularly those warriors who serve to protect our freedoms each day.”

For more information on voter registration, 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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