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Worried About Your Ballot Getting Lost In The Mail? There's Another Option

Matt Rourke

Allegheny County started sending applications for mail-in ballots to every registered voter in the county this week. Officials recommend applying for the ballot as soon as you get your application, and filling out and returning mail ballots well before Election Day. 

But if you're worried about your ballot getting lost in the mail, there's another option that allows you to vote early, and in person. 

“Any voter can go to a county election office and they can apply for their mail-in ballot,” said Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar recently. “They'll be handed a ballot while they're there, they could fill out and cast their ballot all in the same day, all in one visit.”

Boockvar said it's a great third option, in addition to voting by mail or voting in person on Election Day. 

“All of these are going to be safe, secure and reliable, and we encourage voters to use all of them,” she said.

Voting at the elections office will be available once ballots have been finalized, which could be as soon as mid-September. Turnout in the June primary was unusually high, due in large part to the enormous influx of people who voted by mail. Officials expect a similar trend this fall.


You can apply for a ballot online at votespa.com. The deadline to apply for a mail in ballot is October 27. All mail-in ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on November 3.

Lucy Perkins is an editor and also reports on federal government and elections for the Government and Accountability team. Before joining the WESA newsroom, she was an NPR producer in Washington, D.C., working on news programs like All Things Considered and Weekend Edition. You can reach her at lperkins@wesa.fm.