By Cherri Gregg
HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – Governor Tom Corbett announced today that he is extending the deadline for turning in absentee ballots for those Pennsylvania counties impacted by Sandy.
The ballots were originally due on Friday, but Governor Corbett signed an executive order extending the deadline for filing absentee ballots to Monday, November 5th at 5 p.m.
“That applies to any county where the election office was closed at any time this week because of the Hurricane,” said Pennsylvania Department of State spokeman Ron Ruman.
Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester and Montgomery County elections offices were all closed for at least a day because of Sandy and get the benefit of the extension. Delaware County offices remained open during the storm, so ballots are due November 2nd at 5 p.m.
Ruman says under the new deadline, absentee ballots will be delivered to county polling places on Election Day, instead of the day before as in previous years.
“Under the normal process civilian absentee ballots are sent to precincts and they are counted with the votes cast on Election Day that night. We believe this process will allow counties to do that- to get the ballots out to the polling places and have them counted Tuesday evening,” Ruman explains.
He says more than 302,000 voters requested absentee ballots, but as of Wednesday only 165,000 absentee ballots – or 55% of those requested- had been returned.