By Kimberly Davis

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A recent decision handed down by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will affect if your vote is counted or not. If you’re planning to vote by mail this November, make sure you mail back two envelopes, or else your ballot will be thrown in the trash.

“Democracy gives citizens rights but it also asks us to take some responsibility for our votes,” said Committee of Seventy President David Thornburgh.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is holding voters accountable come November. And if you mail in a “naked ballot,” your vote will not count on Election Day.

“When you request your mail ballot, you’re going to get two envelopes — an inner envelope and an outer envelope. You fill out your ballot and put it in the inner envelope and put it in the outer envelope, sign it and send it on its way,” Thornburgh said.

If you do not mail back two envelopes, your vote will not count.

The Committee of Seventy is a long-standing non-partisan advocate for better government and fair elections. Thornburgh says this process may sound confusing, but it’s to make sure you maintain anonymity.

“Election officials didn’t want people counting ballots to know who the ballots came from. So the inner envelope doesn’t have your name, address or anything on it,” he said.

You have until Oct. 19 to register to vote in the commonwealth. Oct. 27 is the last day to apply for a mail-in ballot if you plan to vote by mail.

“Two envelopes or it doesn’t count,” Thornburgh said.

Pennsylvania is a critical battleground state that could determine who will sit in the White House and it could come down to envelopes.

Thornburgh is reminding residents to make sure they inform their older family members of this state Supreme Court ruling.

Kimberly Davis