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8 May 2020

Op- Ed : Please Vote By Mail: It’s Simple, Safe and Secure

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May 8, 2020 Category: Local Posted by:

City Commissioner Omar Sabir

 Pennsylvania’s June 2 primary election is less than a month away. I am urging you to vote by mail! 

Before the COVID-19 crisis, we were working to prepare Philadelphia for the impact of Act 77. Act 77, signed into law by Governor Wolf on October 31, 2019, is a set of substantial reforms to the Pennsylvania Election Code that have been championed by many progressive leaders over the years. In addition to extending the voter registration period by 15 days every election cycle, Act 77 allows voters in Pennsylvania to vote by mail with much more ease.

As a registered voter, you do not need an excuse to request a mail-in ballot. I know that many people may be afraid to leave their homes during this pandemic. But do not let COVID-19 stop you from casting your vote, especially when you can do so safely from the comfort of your home!

 Close to 90,000 Philadelphians have requested their ballots by mail so far. This number is increasing every day. Our amazing staff have been working hard to process all of these applications in a timely manner. 

So how do you vote by mail? 

The process is simple! First, you must request a ballot. Anyone with a PA state ID or driver’s license can apply to receive a ballot online at If you don’t have these items, you can still use that site to download and print an application, and then mail the form to the Philadelphia Board of Elections. If you need a paper application, but don’t have access to a printer, call my office at (215) 686-3462 and we’ll mail one to your home. The deadline to apply for a ballot is May 26. Next, once your application is processed, you will receive a ballot in the mail with a return envelope. If you live in Philadelphia, your return envelope will include pre-paid postage. Lastly, complete and return your ballot. Remember, the Board of Elections must receive the ballot by 8 p.m. on June 2. 

Please remember, the decisions you make this year, electing key federal and state officials, will have a direct influence on how this pandemic and virtually every other issue of importance is handled. 

Starting this year, you can fulfill your most basic civic obligation through the mail—and you should. In fact, I believe you must vote by mail in this upcoming Primary Election! Omar Sabir is an elected City Commissioner and Democratic Committeeperson in Philadelphia. 

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