Delaware County is preparing for the June 2 primary election, including putting safety precautions into place for in-person voting and sending absentee and mail-in ballots to residents.
On March 27, Governor Wolf signed Senate Bill 422, which rescheduled Pennsylvania’s primary election from April 28 to June 2 due to the COVID-19 emergency. Voters have the option to vote by absentee or mail-in ballot or to vote in person.
As of May 20, the County has approved approximately 50,000 absentee or mail-in ballots and approximately 30,000 of the approved ballots have been mailed out. There are approximately 25,000 applications pending. Applications approved by May 14 are being mailed out today.
If your application was not processed by May 14, it may still be in the process of being approved. The Election Bureau is continuing to work through the backlog of paper and online applications to be processed. Additional staff has been added to process those applications.
If you receive your ballot too close to the June 2 election to be confident that it can be returned by mail and received by the County by June 2 you will have several options to have your vote counted:
Return your completed ballot in the sealed return envelope in person to the Delaware County Government Center (201 W. Front St., Media, PA) Monday- Friday from 8:30a.m to 4:30p.m., Saturday from 9:00a.m. to 2:00p.m. and on Election Day from 8:30a.m. to 8:00p.m.
Return your completed ballot in the sealed return envelope to any polling location on Election Day where there will be drop boxes while the polling locations are open.
The County is planning to have a mobile dropbox visit retirement communities on Election Day to collect ballots that were received too late to be returned by mail for those residents who cannot leave the facility. Details on that will be provided once they are confirmed.
Anyone who requested an absentee or mail-in ballot and did not receive it in time or who does not want to return it in one of the ways noted above, can go to their polling location and ask for a provisional ballot. The ballot will be put in an envelope and then counted when the County Election Bureau confirms that the requested mail-in ballot was not returned. Since all ballots are being counted centrally, provisional ballots will likely be included in the initial results.
Information and instructions to request a mail-in or absentee ballot can be found here: www.delcopa.gov/electionsbureau/absenteevoting.html
In order to request either ballot type, you must be registered to vote. The deadline to register to vote in the primary election was May 18, 2020. Residents can still register to vote in the general election in November.
Mail-in ballot and absentee applications will be accepted through May 26, 2020. If a voter has already applied for an absentee or mail-in ballot, they do not need to reapply. You can check the status of your ballot here: www.votespa.com
Residents are asked to complete and return their ballot as soon as possible.
Residents still have the option to vote in person. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, polling locations have been consolidated. The list of consolidated polling locations can be found online and registered voters whose polling location has changed are being notified by mail. Information on polling locations can be found here: www.delcopa.gov/departments/votingmachines.html.
If you are not sure of your voting precinct, you can check your new voting location by using your address at: https://www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/Pages/PollingPlaceInfo.aspx
Delaware County is providing personal protection equipment for every polling location to ensure the safety of both poll workers and the members of the public who are exercising their right to vote. The personal protection equipment includes face masks, gloves and sanitation kits provided by the state for poll workers. The County is also providing table shields, single use pens, and face shields for poll workers. The local election boards will implement procedures to maintain social distancing while signing-in and while voting. Poll workers will be wearing masks to protect voters and other poll workers. All voters who choose to vote in person are urged to wear face masks inside the polling locations in order to protect the poll workers and fellow voters. This will help reduce anxiety for everyone who is participating in our democratic process.
Poll workers are being contacted this week both by phone and by mail with details on on-line training. People who have volunteered to help fill vacancies will also be contacted.
Delaware County Council and the Delaware County Election Board will provide an online video presentation providing an update on the planning for the primary election in Delaware County that will be held on May 22 at 10:00a.m. The presentation will include an update for the general public and also for poll workers.
The presentation will be streamed online on the County’s website here: https://www.delcopa.gov/electionsbureau/index.html
The presentation will also be streamed live on Delaware County Council’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DelawareCountyCouncil/