Oct. 09, 2020

By Rep. Steve Mentzer (R-Lititz)
While voters are free to cast their ballots in person at their respective polling places in the upcoming Nov. 3 election, many are expected to opt for a mail-in ballot.

However a recent ruling by the state Supreme Court has changed the rules very late in the game, making ballots invalid if they are not placed in the provided “secrecy” envelope before being placed in the official mailing envelope.

So, if you choose to vote by mail, it is important to make sure you follow the instructions on the ballot carefully or else it is very possible your vote will not be counted.

If you requested a mail-in or absentee ballot, what are your options for returning it outside of the U.S. mail?

You may bring your mail-in ballot to the Election Office on 150 N. Queen Street, Suite 117 in downtown Lancaster. There will also be a ballot collection receptacle in the Chestnut Street entrance lobby, right before the security station. The lobby will be open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

May you still vote at the polls if you applied for a mail-in ballot?

Yes, if the Election Office has not received the voted mail-in ballot. You must bring your mail-in ballot with the “secrecy” envelope and the return envelope to the polling location to surrender to the Judge of Election and vote a regular ballot. If you do not have your ballot, you may vote provisionally. Provisional ballots will then be scanned by the Lancaster County Board of Elections to ensure that a completed ballot was not previously received.

The deadline to apply for a mail-in or absentee ballot is Tuesday, Oct. 27. To learn more about Lancaster County’s voting system, visit here.