By Howard Monroe

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Voter registration has wrapped up in Pennsylvania with over 9 million residents registered to vote, which is a record. Now, election officials are turning their focus to ensure all mail-in ballots are returned on time and the election is safe and secure.

“Look at the number of how many ballots have been cast,” Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said, “and the high percentages compared to where we were at this time before the primary is a good sign.”

With two weeks to go before Election Day, over 1.2 million mail-in ballots have been returned via mail and in-person. Boockvar says that’s proof that the system is working.

“We are well ahead of the game now,” Boockvar said. “With two weeks left to go, these numbers will continue to grow.”

2020 Election Guide: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware

To ensure things continue to run smoothly, the state is giving counties additional resources as $20 million was distributed to counties to help on Election Day. The money is for pandemic-related protections, including hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies but also to help with the counting of mail-in ballots, which could last until Friday, Nov. 6.

“For the in-person voting and mail-in and absentee ballots, it’s going to be a matter of days,” Boockvar said.

The extended timeframe is partly due to the Supreme Court’s decision to allow ballots that are received as late as Nov. 6 to be counted, but the ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 3.

Boockvar says do not wait.

“I don’t care what the Supreme Court said or didn’t say,” Boockvar said, “if ballots are going to be put in the mail, they need to go in the mail this week. If they’re going to be dropped off, they need to be dropped off by Nov. 3.”

It’s important to note that in-person mail-in voting satellite offices are closing next Tuesday but drop boxes will remain until Election Day.

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