With Election Day starting in less than 24 hours, LNP | LancasterOnline is answering readers’ questions about unique voting situations.
1. I was diagnosed with COVID-19 after the Oct. 27 deadline to apply for a mail-in ballot, and will still be in isolation on Election Day. Can I still vote?
Yes. If you are sick with COVID-19 or another illness, or had an unexpected emergency that will keep you out of your municipality for the entire day, you are eligible for an emergency absentee ballot. You may apply for an emergency absentee ballot after 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30.
The emergency ballot application on the county’s website must be filed before 8 p.m. on Election Day, and it must be physically submitted to the county Board of Elections Office (150 N. Queen St. in Lancaster). In addition, you will need to fill out an authorization form that allows a designated representative to deliver your application. If approved, you or your designated representative will be issued a ballot, which must be returned by 8 p.m. on Election Day (or postmarked by that time).
2. My mail-in ballot never arrived. What should I do?
You have two options at this point. If you were told more than a week ago that your ballot was on its way and it has yet to arrive, your best course of action is to go to the Lancaster County Board of Elections office at 150 N. Queen Street and request to cancel the missing ballot and print a new one. You will be able to fill out the new ballot and turn it in immediately, or take it with you and deposit it in the county’s ballot drop box before 8 p.m. on Nov. 3. This process can be completed up until Election Day. (Note: Although the lobby has extended hours on Saturday, the elections office will not be open again until Monday at 8:30 a.m.)
For voters who recently applied for a mail-in ballot, it’s likely it could still arrive before Election Day. If it does not, you can go to your polling place on Election Day and request a provisional ballot. Provisional ballots are only counted if the county elections board confirms the missing mail-in ballot was never submitted.
3. I received a mail-in ballot but want to vote in person now. Can I do so?
Yes. But if you want to do this, you must bring your mail-in ballot, the envelope it arrived in, as well as the return and secrecy envelopes to surrender to the workers at your polling location. Once you surrender those materials, you will be able to vote a regular ballot in person.
4. I still haven’t submitted my mail-in ballot. What should I do?
You should deliver in-person to the ballot dropbox located in the lobby of the county government building, 150 N. Queen St. (the dropbox is located at the security station by the Chestnut St. entrance). State elections officials warned voters that a ballot mailed at this point may not arrive in time. While the state Supreme Court ruled that counties must accept ballots postmarked by Nov. 3 up until next Friday, the state Republican Party is suing in federal court to block the three-day extension
5. I haven’t voted in a while but want to vote in person on Election Day. Where do I go?
You can check where your polling location is here. If you have not voted in a while, it is best to check to see if your polling location has changed, as some locations moved due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Lancaster County Board of Elections also sent a letter to your home address with any polling location changes.
Report voting issues from now through Election Day to political reporter Gillian McGoldrick at 717-481-6029 or email@example.com.