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Mail-in ballots are on the way, county officials say

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch

Mail-in ballots are on their way to voters, almost all polling places have been finalized and the York County Department of Elections and Voter Registration is preparing for safe in-person voting at the polls, officials said Wednesday.

A round of more than 60,000 mail-in ballots started going out to York County voters Wednesday, County Commissioner Julie Wheeler said, and another 20,000 ballot requests are being processed.

County election officials estimate about 100,000 people will vote by mail in the Nov. 3 election.

At a Board of Commissioners meeting Wednesday, Wheeler reminded voters that they don't have to buy a stamp for their ballots because the state already paid the postage, and she urged voters not to return a "naked ballot," meaning a ballot without a secrecy envelope.

"If your ballot is not in this envelope, the Board of Elections will not be able to count your vote," she said, holding up the different envelopes to demonstrate.

Voters who use a mail-in ballot will receive a ballot, a secrecy envelope and a return envelope. The filled-out ballot must be placed inside the secrecy envelope, and the secrecy envelope must then be placed inside the return envelope.

Deadlines: There are also a number of voting-related deadlines approaching.

The last day to make any change to voter registration information is Oct. 19, and the last day to request a mail-in ballot is Oct. 27.

Wheeler and other county officials have urged voters not to wait until the last minute, and to request a ballot as soon as possible if they want to vote by mail.

Single Point Sourcing, based in Dillsburg, will print, collate and mail the ballots per a contract with York County.

Voters exit Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church after voting in the Primary Election in York Township, Tuesday, June 2, 2020. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Returning the ballot: Voters will receive their mail-in ballots in the mail, but they don't have to return them in the mail.

Ballots can also be dropped off in person.

York County's ballot drop box will be in front of the county administration building at 28 E. Market St. in York City from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24; 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 1; and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 3.

Two sheriff's deputies and two county employees will be at the box during all drop-off times, and one lane of traffic on East Market Street will be closed to make it easier to access the drop box.

Voters can also take their ballot directly to the elections office in the basement of the administrative center.

Polling places: For those who choose to vote in person, the county has secured all but one of its 161 polling places.

A new location for Springettsbury Township District 6, which is usually at Springetts Apartments, is still pending, but Wheeler and the county's director of elections, Steve Ulrich, said they have a few options to consider and they're confident they'll have a location nailed down in time for Election Day that will accommodate proper social distancing.

The other 160 polling locations are available to look up on the county's website at yorkcountypa.gov.

York County has also secured 95% of its judges of elections and more than 700 poll workers, Wheeler said.

"The county is in very good shape in preparing for those folks who want to vote in person, to afford you that opportunity," she said.

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