The Presidential GENERAL ELECTION is Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
Under the new election law changes for 2020 you can register to vote up to 15 days prior to the election to vote in that election. You can register online at www.register.votespa.com. Fill out the form and submit your application. Use the application number to track your submission. Not sure if you are (still) registered to vote? Check your voter registration online. Keep in mind that County Election offices are required to purge voting roles of people who are deceased or those who haven't voted in the past 2 Presidential elections after notifying the voter by mail. If the mailed card is returned as undeliverable the registration is purged for the state voter rolls.
You can register in person at your county voter registration office, 1 Quaker Plaza, Room 105, Stroudsburg, weekdays 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Closed weekends and holidays; or at the Department of Transportation photo license centers when applying for or renewing your driver’s license.
You can register by mail. Voter registration mail applications are available at your county voter registration office; and at many other locations within each county including public libraries, universities, political party committee office, and many service organizations. Or download the Voter Registration Form here.
No matter how you register, you will get your voter registration card in the mail. Bring this card with you, along with a photo ID, the first time you vote.
Mail In or Absentee Ballot
One change beginning this year is that if you vote by Mail In or Absentee ballot you may not vote at your polling place on election day. Esentially Mail In voting is Early Voting only the Republicans in the PA Legislature refused to allow it to be called that. You can apply for an Absentee or Mail In ballot online, by mail or in person at the Monroe County Election Office, 1 Quaker Plaza, Room 105, Stroudsburg, weekdays 8:30am - 4:30pm. The ballots can be available as soon as 50 days before Election Day but have to be provided by at least 14 days before Election Day. You can return your voted ballot by mail or in person at the Monroe County Election Office, Republicans also insisted that ballots can not be turned in on Sundays or Holidays. It is also possble for the County Election office to open satellite offices during the mail in voting period so people can more conveniently apply for and return their Mail In Ballots, but this is up to the County Election Board to arrange and pay for.
You may now vote by mail-in ballot, unless you qualify as an absentee voter, in which case you must vote by absentee ballot. In both cases, NO EXCUSE is required to vote, and voting by mail you then do not have to go to your polling place on Election Day. I attended an educational session on Mail In voting and no one could explain what these qualifications that require an Absentee Ballot are, other than:
1) You use the Federal Overseas Absentee Ballot online process.
2) in the case of an Emergency where at the last minute you find out you have to be away on Election Day or you are Hospitalized.
The actual ballot you receive should be identical whether you apply using the Absentee Ballot Application or the Mail In Ballot Application. In Monroe County it should be identical to the paper ballot used for voting on Election Day at polling places. The more people who vote early means the less crowded polling places will be on Election Day and the less chance they may run out of pre-printed paper ballots at polling places on Election Day. We highly recommend that everyone who can should apply for a Mail In or Absentee Ballot.
Mail In Ballot
If you want to vote by mail you must apply for a mail-in ballot. You do not need to provide a reason or excuse if you want to use a mail-in ballot. The county must receive your application for a mail-in ballot by 5:00 p.m. on the Tuesday before the election. You can apply for a Mail IN/Absentee Ballot online. You can actually go into the County Election Office and apply in person for a Mail In Ballot and deposit your voted ballot in the office at the same time. Or download the Mail In Ballot Application here and in Spanish here.
You can return your voted mail-in ballot by mailing it to your county board of elections using the envelope provided, or you can drop it off in person at the board of election’s office. Whichever way you choose, the County must receive your voted ballot by 8:00 p.m. on election day in order for it to be counted.
You may also ask to be placed on a permanent mail-in voter list. If you are on this list, you will have a mail-in ballot application mailed to you by the first Monday in February each year. If you complete and return the application, the county will send you ballots in the mail for all the elections that take place that year, as well as for any special election held through the third Monday in February of the next year. For example, if you return your completed mail-in application in February 2020, you will automatically receive a ballot for the April 28, 2020, Primary and the November 3, 2020, General Election, as well as ballots for any special elections held on or before February 15, 2021. You have to apply to be on the "permanent" mail in voter list every year. As stupid as that sounds, that was the way the law was crafted by the Republican controlled legislature. The advantage is you only have to apply once a year for Mail In Ballots for that year.
If you are sent a mail-in ballot and the county receives your voted ballot by the deadline (8:00 p.m. on election day), you may not vote at your polling place. Your vote is considered final at that point. However, if you mailed your ballot too late, or you aren’t sure whether the county received your voted ballot in time, you may be able to vote a provisional ballot at your polling place. If you were sent a mail-in ballot, but your polling place has no record of having received it, you may vote by provisional ballot. However, if the county does receive your voted mail-in ballot in time, that ballot, not your provisional ballot, will be counted. Remember, you may always return your mail-in ballot at the county board of election’s office by 8:00 p.m. on election day.
Finally, counties are authorized to begin processing mail-in applications more than 50 days before the election. Beginning 50 days before the election, counties must begin transmitting mail-in ballots as soon as the ballot is certified and the ballots are available. Counties may await the result of a court proceeding that would affect the content of ballots before delivering mail-in ballots, but in any case, counties must begin to send out mail-in and absentee ballots no later than the second Tuesday before the election.
Under the new election law for 2020 changes you no longer need a reason to vote by Absentee Ballot. Anyone can vote by absentee ballot. So skip the lines and don't worry about bad weather. Make sure your vote counts. You can apply online for a Pennsylvania Absentee Ballot or Download and mail back a Pennsylvania Absentee Ballot Application form or pick up an application form at the county voter registration office ( 1 Quaker Plaza, Room 105, Stroudsburg, weekdays 8:30am - 4:30pm )
Overseas Citizen Absentee Ballot
If you are an active duty member of the Uniformed Services or Merchant Marine; an eligible spouse or family member of an active duty member of the Uniformed Services or Merchant Marine; or a U.S. citizen residing outside the U.S, you can use the Federal online Overseas Absentee Ballot. Apply online here. You have to be out of the US to use this. Using it will make it easier for the County Election office to know they have to use international mail to get you your ballot or email it to you. With the new election law the actual voted ballot has to be mailed back. In the past there was an option to email the ballot back with the acknoledgement that you give up the right to a secret ballot.
Need to know where you vote? Find out your Polling Place.
Want to know which legislative district you live in? Find out your District here.