Voting Guide

Elections matter more than ever. Covid-19 is still with us here in ’21. In some states, Republican legislatures are working overtime to suppress the vote. The good news is, with Pennsylvania’s vote-by-mail expansion, you have great options for getting your voted counted

Key highlights (details below):

  • Applying for a mail-in ballot gives you lots of options (at the price of a little extra complexity)
  • For mail-in ballots, it’s crucial that you fill out and SIGN the voter declaration and use the extra “secrecy” envelope! Failure to do either means your ballot won’t be counted.
  • Even if you applied for a mail ballot, you can vote in person at the poll on Election Day.
  • Dropboxes should be available starting in late October. In 2020 there were 12 secure drop box locations around the county for mail-in ballots.
    • Eleven locations were staffed and open during daytime hours 7 days a week. The nearest for Tredyffrin Residents is at Easttown Library, open M-F 9-9, Saturday and Sunday 10-2.
    • There is a 24/7 location at the Government Services Center in West Chester, unstaffed and monitored by video surveillance.
  • Any questions? Call our hotline, 484-474-0570, or drop us a line at info@ttdems.com

Vote By Mail

Under PA’s new laws, anyone may apply for a mail-in ballot, no excuses needed. If you want to use this option, apply now, to allow enough time for the process.

You can apply online or via paper application. You’ll need a PA Driver’s License, PennDOT ID, or the last four digits of your Social Security Number. Or you can apply in person at Chester County Voter Services in West Chester.

What’s good about Vote By Mail?

Here are a few reasons why we recommend voting by mail:

  • Secure — paper-based and validated
  • Safer – avoids crowds and risk of exposure
  • More convenient – no taking time off from work, no standing in lines, no childcare worries, no worries about weather, transportation, emergencies, etc.
  • More informed voting – time to stop and review candidates, etc.
  • Higher voting participation rates in states that vote entirely or mostly by mail
  • Can use a secure drop box to avoid return mail
Curious about vote-by-mail security? Learn more on our VBM security page.

Check your status before applying

Before applying to vote by mail, check your voter registration if you have any doubts about your registration status. (If you haven’t voted in at least two consecutive federal election cycles, your registration may be marked Inactive. Inactive voters will be removed from voter rolls if they don’t vote during an additional two federal cycles. If you’ve moved since last voting, you should also update your registration status.)

  • Apply online at votespa.com/applymailballot
  • Track your application and ballot using the PA Ballot Tracker
  • When you receive your ballot, vote it and get it back in the mail as soon as possible
  • Ballots received by 8 PM on Tuesday, November 2 will be counted.
  • Or drop your ballot in a secure drop box (see below)

How to apply to vote by mail

For more information on voting by mail (either mail-in ballots or absentee ballots), applying online or downloading a paper request form go to:

PA Voter Services Mail-In Ballot Center

You can call Voter Services at 610-344-6410 or call the TTDems hotline at 484-474-0570 for an application by US mail.

Tips on filling out the online application

For a couple of important tips on filling out the online application, see our page on How to Fill Out the Vote By Mail Online Application.

If you previously requested a mail-in ballot at a different address

If a voter previously requested an absentee ballot to be sent to a college or other temporary address and now needs a mail-in ballot to be sent to their permanent address instead, the voter must call Voter Services at 610-344-6410 and make that request. (Mom or dad can’t make the request on their child’s behalf.) Warning: you’ll have to sit through a very long recording and just stay on the line. Don’t select any of the numbered options because, if you do, you’ll just get a different recorded message and then have to go back to hear the original message and options again.

When to expect to receive your mail-in ballot

Then new law mandates that mail-in ballots will begin being distributed and processed 50 days before the election. See below for a link to check the status of your application if you’re concerned.

You should receive an email from PA Voter Services 5-7 days before they send your ballot, letting you know it’s being prepared:

YOUR MAIL-IN BALLOT WILL NOT COUNT UNLESS YOU DO THE FOLLOWING:

  • The secrecy envelope, together with the completed ballot, goes into the outside envelope.
  • Fill out and SIGN the declaration printed on the outside envelope.

VIDEO: HOW TO VOTE BY MAIL

Drop your mail-in ballot in a secure drop box

If you don’t want to use the mail, Chester County has twelve locations where you can drop your voted mail-in ballot in a secure drop box. These boxes are emptied daily by deputies wearing body cameras to assure clear chain of custody on the ballots. These boxes are located at 11 county libraries, as well as the main Voter Services office. For Tredyffrin, the most convenient drop box is at the Easttown Library and Information Center.

Vote in Person

As always, you can vote in person at your polling place. Polls will be open and staffed from 7 AM to 8 PM on Election Day, November 3. Some polls may be closed or consolidated; check back here for details.

Note that you can vote in person at the poll even if you applied for a mail-in ballot!

  • If you received the mail-in ballot, bring the ballot and all of its accompanying envelopes and materials to the poll. They will “spoil” the mail-in ballot and give you an ordinary in-person ballot.
  • If you have NOT received the mail-in ballot, the poll workers will issue you a provisional ballot, which will be counted once your eligibility is verified.
  • Don’t leave the poll without voting! Even if you don’t bring all the mail-in ballot materials, the poll workers should issue you a provisional ballot.

Other Resources

Tredyffrin Township Democratic Committee
P.O. Box 910
Devon, PA 19333
(484) 474-0570

info@ttdems.com

 


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