MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) — You have just one week left to register to vote if you plan on voting in Pennsylvania. The deadline is Oct. 19 and if you plan on voting by mail, the last day to apply is Oct. 27. But due to the high volume of applications, elections officials are urging you not to wait until the last minute.
“There are a lot of people who are anticipating this election. They want to participate, so I understand that people want their ballots,” said Montgomery County Commissioner Kenneth Lawrence.
But many voters in Montgomery County are saying they haven’t received their ballot yet.
Commissioner Lawrence says some of the angst has to do with an email that was sent out three weeks ago. It told voters who applied for a mail-in ballot that it was on the way.
Commissioner Lawrence says that email was misworded but says your ballot will be delivered.
“Montgomery County didn’t begin mailing ballots until 9/30. So, I understand some people are anxious because they got that email on 9/21. I can assure them that no ballots went out at all until Sept. 30,” Lawrence said.
He says they’ve mailed out over 200,000 ballots and due to the pandemic, this is the first election voters don’t need an excuse to vote by mail.
“Can you say definitively that all those people who have applied for a mail-in-ballot and are doing so on time will be able to get that ballot, fill it out and get it back to you guys before the Nov. 3 cutoff?” asked CBS3’s Howard Monroe.
“I can’t control the U.S. Postal Service. I can tell you that since we have been mailing them out on Sept. 30 we received a fair number back, so the mail seems to be moving well,” said Commissioner Lawrence.
Oct. 27 is the deadline to apply for a mail-in-ballot.
To make the return easier, the county set up 16 ballot drop-off locations and similar to Philadelphia County, has established satellite offices so voters can apply for, fill out, and return mail-in ballots.
Whether you return your ballot by mail or a drop off location, Commissioner Lawrence says to make sure it’s in both envelopes.
“Use the secrecy envelopes, we’ve been hearing a lot about naked ballots. You’ll have two envelopes — you’ll have your return envelope and a secrecy envelope. You need to get your ballot in the secrecy envelope,” he said.
Without both envelopes, your vote will not be counted.