South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

Allegheny County mail-in, absentee ballots have begun to go out

 

September 29, 2020



Mail-in and absentee ballot packets have begun to go out to county voters. On the first day, approximately 20,000 ballots were delivered to the post office and, by the end of the next day, another 50,000 ballots were delivered to the post office for mailing.

With that step, over-the-counter voting at the Allegheny County Elections Division office at 542 Forbes Avenue, Room 601, in downtown Pittsburgh is now also available during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Over-the-counter voting entails a voter going to the counter in the Elections Division and applying in-person for a mail-in or absentee ballot. The application is the same as the one found online at https://bit.ly/2S55X08 and can be completed in advance of going to the County Office Building. Once the application is completed and submitted to the Elections staff, the application will be processed using the SURE system to ensure the voter is registered to vote, hasn’t already applied for a ballot, or has any other barriers to voting.

Once reviewed and approved, the ballot for that person’s municipality, ward and precinct will be provided to the voter along with a security and declaration envelope, and instructions for voting. Privacy screens will be set up on the counter to allow the voter to complete their ballot in secret. Once voted, the ballot is folded and placed in a security envelope which is then placed inside of a second envelope with the voter’s declaration printed on the back. The voter will complete and sign the declaration before returning the envelope to Elections staff.

The voter’s record will be updated to show that the individual’s ballot has been returned. Voted ballots are secured within the Elections Division before being transported to the Elections warehouse where they are stored in a locked room which is also under camera surveillance. They will remain there until 7 a.m. on Election Day when ballots may begin to be opened and counted.

Over-the-counter voting will also be available at the additional offices approved by the Board of Elections which will open beginning on October 10. The schedule, including dates, times and locations, follow and are also being added to the Elections website, http://www.alleghenycounty.us/elections/index.aspx, along with a map that can also provide directions to site for voters that need that information.

The division continues to process online applications in the same day they are received and is working through paper applications with additional staff and shifts. Applications for mail-in or absentee ballots must be received by the Elections Division by 5 p.m. on October 27. Voters are encouraged to apply now and can do so online at https://votespa.com/ApplyMailBallot.

Daily updates on the number of applications processed are being provided on the main page of the Elections website and are updated by 10 a.m. daily, Monday through Friday. The number of ballots delivered to the post office will be added to the site and the number of ballots returned will be added beginning Wednesday, Sept. 30.

 

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