By Cherri Gregg
HARRISBURG, Pa (CBS) — Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett has extended the deadline for filing absentee ballot applications because of Hurricane Sandy.
Tuesday at 5 p.m. was the deadline for applications for absentee ballots in Pennsylvania. But Sandy’s wrath shut down postal operations and county elections offices for two days in some parts of the Commonwealth, leaving less time for absentee voters turn in applications. Department of State spokesman Ron Ruman says that’s why Governor Corbett extended the application deadline on a county-by-county basis.
“The Governor extended the deadline one day for each day that the county board of elections office was closed this week,” Ruman says, “but the deadline will not go beyond this Friday, November 2nd.”
In Philadelphia and surrounding counties, the new deadline is Thursday at 5 p.m. Voters in other counties should call ahead to check the new deadline for their applications, noting that the deadline for mailing absentee ballots is still November 2nd.
“That has not been extended at this point,” says Ruman. “The ballots must be in by election day, so you really don’t have any room there.”
County elections officials advise anyone who has not yet mailed in their applications for absentee ballots to use the deadline extension to go to their county elections office to fill it out in person.
“The hope is that most people have already mailed in their applications,” says Ruman. “If not, in person may be the best option. You can fill it out and once it’s approved you can cast your ballot right there.”
Ruman says more than 100,000 absentee ballots have already been received, that’s down from the 270,000 absentee ballots cast in 2008.