Like many others out there, I am choosing to vote by mail this coming primary election. The date for the primary election is now June 2nd.
When I found out in mid-March that we could do this, I registered online for my mail in ballot. I am someone, who as a cancer survivor and still active cancer patient, is considered immunocompromised.
After I registered online at https://www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/OnlineAbsenteeApplication, I first received a confirmation letter acknowledging my application. Then a couple weeks later I received an email that I mistakenly thought was from Chester County telling me my ballot was being mailed out. Only I never received anything. And because my mail sorts through Wilmington, Delaware before coming back to Chester County, I tried to contact Chester County Voter Services.
Because of the coronavirus world we live in I wasn’t successful at first in contacting the county. So I completed a second ballot application. I still received nothing. So I reached out to Chester County Voter Services again. This morning a lovely lady called me back.
Apparently the acknowledgment email we receive along with the additional email that tells us our ballots are being mailed out are generated on a state platform and not a county level. I mistakenly thought the notification of ballots being mailed out came from the county. Apparently I am also not alone in that misperception. This has created some confusion, as have a lot of things quite frankly being issued from the state level these days. (This is all uncharted territory in a global pandemic and health crisis, so for once in my life I’m actually trying not to be hypercritical.)
Chester County IS mailing their ballots now. BUT if you filed more than one application with the state (like I did) because you were afraid your ballot was lost it’s gumming up the works quite literally. Every time you do a new application it sounds like it kind of voids the other applications, so what is happening is it’s essentially a stop check in the system so people don’t get more than one ballot. Basically we’re slowing ourselves down if we’ve done this. And while I only filed a second application, there are a lot of voters who have filed multiple applications.
If you think your ballot is late but you have the email that proves that you successfully completed the application, DO NOT complete additional applications like I for one did. Contact voter services. They are essential workers so a lot of the time they actually are in the offices but the phones are restricted sometimes because I don’t think there are as many people in the officers to answer them. The phone number is 610-344-6410.
Below is a screenshot of what the online request for mail in ballot looks like. Please note if you want to vote by mail, your county office MUST have your application NO LATER THAN 5PM on May 26. Please make sure you complete and mail it ASAP when you receive it because it has to be received by Election Day which again is now June 2nd.
Thanks for stopping by.