Over 4,300 voters have already used Pennsylvania’s latest voting tool, applying online for an absentee ballot.
The online absentee ballot applications can be found on votesPA.com/ApplyAbsentee.
This has not been the first successful online program that Governor Wolf has launched. In August 2015, he launched online voter registration, which has been used by over 1.4 million applicants.
Up until last week, Pennsylvania voters could only apply via paper for an absentee ballot and would have to wait until it was received in the mail to use it.
In a press release, Governor Wolf said, “The success of letting people apply online for an absentee ballot proves that Pennsylvanians want voting to be more accessible.”
Gov. Wolf added, “This was an important next step to modernize our elections, and I hope it encourages more voters to participate in our democracy.”
The deadline for the absentee ballot applications is Tuesday, October 29 at 5 p.m., which is exactly a week before the election. The deadline for county election offices to receive ballots is three days later. The deadline will be November 1, at 5 p.m.
It was reported that online applications are directed to the appropriate body of government for processing. However, absentee voters still have to mail or deliver their voted ballot to their county election office.
Acting Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said in a press release that, “The department is committed to finding ways we can make the voting process more convenient and accessible for all eligible voters.”
Absentee ballots can be cast by voters with illness or disabilities, voters who will be out of their municipalities on business during election day, or students attending out of state universities or colleges.
The online application is available to all domestic votes, however starting in 2020, it will be available to oversea and military voters in 2020. All online applications require a PennDOT ID or drivers license. In 2020, the Department of State is planning on updating it, so applicants without a PennDOT to use the system.