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Coming Soon to a Mailbox Near You: First Mail-in Ballots Sent Out in Bucks

October 7, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: James O'Malley, 215-348-6414, jtomalley@buckscounty.org

Bucks County’s first mail-in and absentee ballots of the 2020 General Election are officially on their way to voters.

The first batch of ballots was sent out Wednesday to registered voters whose ballot applications had been received and approved, Chief Clerk Gail Humphrey announced during the morning’s county commissioners’ meeting.

As many as 30,000 ballots were expected to be mailed out by day’s end, and up to 18,000 more could be mailed each ensuing day until all ballots have been sent. Ballots are expected to arrive within two to five days of being mailed.

Commissioner Bob Harvie reminded voters to ensure, prior to returning their completed ballot, that it is placed inside the provided secrecy envelope, which must then be sealed and placed inside the return envelope.

“You must include the ballot in the secrecy envelope. If it is not included in the secrecy envelope, it cannot be counted in this county or any other county in this Commonwealth,” he said. “We’re not allowed to even look at it.”

Voters must also complete the requested information on the outside of the return envelope, and sign it, before returning it.

By close of business Wednesday, Bucks County’s Board of Elections had received and processed more than 160,000 mail-in and absentee ballot applications, a number certain to grow as county employees work extended hours to process incoming requests.

Mail-in or absentee ballot requests must be received no later than Oct. 27. County officials encourage voters to act as soon as possible, however; all completed ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 3 and received by Nov. 6 in order to be counted.

Voters may apply for a mail-in or absentee ballots online at votespa.com, in person at the Board of Elections’ main office in Doylestown, or at its satellite offices located in Levittown and Quakertown. Secure ballot drop boxes are in place at all three government offices.

The mailing of the county’s first ballots comes just two days after on-demand ballot printing went live in Bucks County.

Available for the first time to the county’s voters, the on-demand voting service allows residents to request their ballot in person at a government office, complete it and return it immediately to the Board of Elections.

This option is available to voters who have not yet applied for a mail-in or absentee ballot, as well as voters who have applied for a ballot but have not yet received it and wish to void their submitted application, Humphrey explained during the commissioners’ meeting.

“I did it myself. It went very well, it was very easy,” she said. “I went home and I joked to my family that it was almost like getting my flu shot. I did it and I’m done.”

On-demand ballots can be accessed at the county government’s Doylestown, Levittown and Quakertown offices. Each office is equipped to print ballots for any precinct in Bucks County.

All completed ballots received ahead of Election Day are kept securely at the Board of Elections office in Doylestown Borough. No votes will be counted until polls close Nov. 3.

Additional information, including links to apply for a mail-in or absentee ballot, poll locations and frequently asked questions can be found at buckscounty.org/2020election.