The Committee of Seventy, a non-partisan organization that fights for fair elections, urges all media outlets to remind Pennsylvania voters of important deadlines to apply for, and to submit, absentee ballots, alternative ballots and emergency absentee ballots in order to vote in the May 17, 2011 Pennsylvania primary election.
ALTERNATIVES TO IN-PERSON VOTING
- Absentee Ballots. Voters who expect to be absent from their home counties on May 17 because of their duties, occupation or business (including leaves of absence for teaching, vacations or sabbaticals) are eligible for an absentee ballot. Voters present in their home county may still qualify for an absentee ballot if they are (a) county employees prevented from voting because of their Election Day duties, or (b) observing a religious holiday, or (c) in the military, or (d) unable to go to the polls or operate a voting machine and obtain assistance by distinct and audible statements.
- Alternative Ballots: Voters with a disability, or who are at least 65 years of age and have been assigned to a polling place deemed inaccessible by their county Board of Elections are eligible to vote by alternative ballot.
- Emergency Absentee Ballots: Voters who are unable to vote because of an emergency (for example, voters who became ill or will be away from their home county and who could not have known this prior to the deadline for applying for absentee ballots) are eligible to vote by Emergency Absentee Ballot.
Tuesday, May 10 by 5:00 p.m. – Absentee and alternative ballot applications must be received by the voter’s county Board of Elections.
Friday, May 13 by 5:00 p.m. – Voted civilian absentee ballots and Emergency absentee ballot applications must be received by the voter’s county Board of Elections.
Tuesday, May 17 by 8:00 p.m. – Emergency absentee ballots must be received by the voter’s county Board of Elections. Voters seeking emergency absentee ballots must file an application with their county’s Court of Common Pleas and return the voted ballot to their county Board of Elections.
Tuesday, May 17 by 8 p.m. – Voted alternative ballots must be received by the voter’s county Board of Elections.
Tuesday, May 24 by 5:00 p.m. – Military and overseas absentee ballots must be received by the voter’s county Board of Elections. Ballots must be postmarked no later than May 16.
The Committee of Seventy is a non-partisan organization fighting for clean and effective government, fair elections and informed citizens. Complete information on absentee ballots, alternative ballots and emergency absentee ballots – as well as applications forms – is available at: http://www.seventy.org/Elections_Absentee_and_Alternative_Ballot_Information.aspx or www.votespa.com, the Pennsylvania Department of State’s online voting resource center.