Pennsylvanians urged to drop off mail-in ballots in person

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ByBob Brooks via WPVI logo
Friday, October 30, 2020
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With five days until Election Day, Pennsylvania's top elections official urged voters to drop it off in person rather than mail it.

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- With five days until Election Day, Pennsylvania's top elections official urged voters in the presidential battleground state who have one of the roughly 1 million mail-in ballots outstanding to drop it off in person rather than mail it.

"At this point we are not recommending that anybody put their ballots in the mail, just drop it off in person," Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar told reporters. "We really recommend that you drop it off in person."

The deadline to apply for mail-in ballots passed on Tuesday. Voters applied for almost 3.1 mail-in or absentee ballots, with about 2 million returned thus far, election officials say.

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There are a variety of ways to drop off mail-in ballots, including at secure election drop boxes, county election offices and other county-designated drop-off locations.

Boockvar also urged counties to begin the laborious task of processing mail-in and absentee ballots on Election Day - tasks like removing ballots from their outer and inner envelopes - so that they can be more quickly scanned and tabulated.

In the pouring rain and cold, undeterred, neighbors in Roxborough still voted Thursday. They say it was easy, just dropping off their mail-in ballots.

"Yeah I was gonna mail it but it's too late," said Stephen DiDomenico of Roxborough.

Governor Tom Wolf said during a Thursday press conference that mailing your ballot this close to Election Day is cutting it too close.

"Don't rely on somebody at the mail. Just walk it in and make sure it gets there," he said.

In Delaware County, Councilwoman Christine Reuther said, "I would say almost every other day we're not getting mail here."

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She said they've done everything she can to make dropping off ballots easy.

"We've installed 41 drop boxes and we have three other voter services centers with drop boxes," she said.

Officials also say Pennsylvania could become quite controversial.

"We probably won't know the result on election night," said Wolf.

The state Supreme Court's decision to count late mail-in ballot three days after November 3 could be challenged again. Earlier this month, US Supreme Court reviewed that decision and split the vote 4-4.

But with new Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett aboard, the decision could likely change if heard again.

If voting in person, Wolf urged voters to get to the polls before 8 p.m. on Election Day.