How to get ready to vote by mail for Nov. 3

Posted 8/12/20

“The vote is precious. It is almost sacred. It is the most powerful non-violent tool we have in a democracy.” -- John Lewis, June 2019. 

Congressman Lewis risked his life and went to …

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How to get ready to vote by mail for Nov. 3

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“The vote is precious. It is almost sacred. It is the most powerful non-violent tool we have in a democracy.” -- John Lewis, June 2019. 

Congressman Lewis risked his life and went to jail to expand voting rights and to defend the right to vote. We cannot let him down in the most important election of our lives.

Election Day, November 3, 2020, will be here before you know it. So, it is important to start getting ready. If you haven’t voted in two federal election cycles, you may have been removed from the voter rolls. Check your voter registration status at pavoterservices.pa.gov. If you are not registered to vote and have a PA driver’s license or a PennDOT ID, you can register online through the same website.  If you don’t have either of these forms of ID, fill out a paper application. These can be downloaded and printed from your computer, obtained from your State Senator or Representative's offices or from your local committee people. If you are already registered to vote and have changed your name due to a marriage or divorce, moved or want to change your political affiliation, you must update your voter registration status. This can be completed either online (pavoterservices.pa.gov) or on paper.

We don’t know where we will be in November with respect to the coronavirus pandemic. It may not be safe to vote in person. Vote safely by mail.

The first time we, in Pennsylvania, could vote by mail was on June 2, 2020 for the primary election. There were some problems to be sure but, it is the safest way to vote. You can apply for a mail-in ballot two ways: online or paper. Go to pavoterservices.pa.gov for the details. The mail-in ballot application request must be received by the Board of Elections by 5 p.m. on October 27. The completed ballot must be received by your county Board of Elections by 8 p.m. on November 3.

There are things to keep in mind when completing your ballot. Read the ballot thoroughly. Fill out the ballot in blue or black ink. Remember to sign the ballot with a signature that matches your signature of record. Put your ballot into the official election ballot (the small envelope) and place this into the mailing envelope (the larger envelope). Don’t forget to sign the voter declaration, print your name and fill in your address on the mailing envelope. Put it in a mailbox and mail it well before the deadline. If you do wait until the last minute, there were mobile ballot drop off sites on the day before the primary and there were ballot drop off locations throughout the city on Election Day. These options were not well publicized and were announced just prior to the election. The ballots will be sent out about 50 days prior to the election. Fill out your ballot and return it. Don’t delay and don’t wait until the last minute. You can track your ballot at pavoterservices.pa.gov if you have previously provided your email address.

Philadelphia City Commissioner Lisa Deeley stated that the major reason for a ballot not being accepted was the declaration on the outer envelope was not signed. Other reasons for ballots not being counted were ballots being received after the deadline, there was confusion over the postmark or the signature on the ballot did not match the signature of record.

“Get in good trouble, necessary trouble and help redeem the soul of America” --John Lewis, March 2020.

Get in good trouble and vote.

Lori Jardines

Ward 22 Division 3                                       

Michael Swayze

Ward 22 Division 3

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