Released: October 5, 2020
One month prior the 2020 General Election, the Delaware County Bureau of Elections has begun sending ballots to voters who requested either a mail-in or absentee ballot.
Over 100,000 vote-by-mail ballots were released on October 3 and an additional 9,000 vote-by-mail ballots are scheduled to be released later this week. This includes all vote-by-mail ballot applications received by September 20 and all ballots for voters who selected to receive a vote-by-ballot for the November General Election when they applied to vote by mail prior to the June Primary Election.
A total of 111,000 vote-by-ballots have or will be mailed by the County and the Bureau of Elections will continue to process vote-by-mail applications received until the October 27 deadline.
Voters may begin receiving their ballot materials as early as today and are reminded to carefully review and follow the enclosed vote-by-mail instructions enclosed with the ballot. There are two envelopes in the packet: a smaller secrecy envelope marked “OFFICIAL ELECTION BALLOT” and a larger mailing envelope that has “VOTER’S DECLARATION” printed on the back side and is addressed to the County Bureau of Elections. Voters must use both envelopes. Any ballot that arrives at the Bureau of Elections without the inner “secrecy envelopes” (also called a “naked ballot”) will not be counted.
Voters can return their voted ballot* via the United States Post Office (USPS) in the postage-paid mailing envelope or via any private mail carrier of their choice (though these carriers may charge for delivery and voters are advised to check the carrier’s website for details).
Voters can also return their voted ballot* at any Delaware County Voter Service Center, located in Media, Upper Darby, and Chester. Locations and times can be found here: www.delcopa.gov/publicrelations/releases/2020/voterservicecentersopening.html
Voters who are concerned about delivery or want to confirm the status of their vote-by-mail ballot can use the Pennsylvania Department of State’s “Election Ballot Status” lookup tool: www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/Pages/BallotTracking.aspx.
After the voter enters their name and birthdate, the status will either say “pending” (if their application has been approved and the ballot is being prepped for release to the voter) or will show an error message (that reads “We are unable to match your information with our records”) until the application has been processed by the County.
Secure Ballot Drop Boxes will be located across the County. The drop boxes will allow voters to cast their mail in ballot. The County is coordinating and installing the drop boxes. Updates on the locations will be posted on the County’s Delco Votes! Website: www.delcopa.gov/vote/index.html
New Election Resources:
On October 1, the new Delaware County Election Hotline began operations with a new easy-to-remember number: (610) 891-VOTE (8683). The hotline is available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. – noon. Trained hotline staff will answer all calls related to the upcoming election, providing accurate information about voter registration, mail-in ballots, vote-by-mail applications, polling place locations, ballot boxes, deadlines, and more.
On September 2, the new Delaware County website—Delco Votes!—was launched. The updated website, featuring user-friendly interface, provides Delaware County with information about recent election process changes and equipement updates necessitated by both Act 77 and the ongong COVID-19 pandemic. Voters, would-be voters, candidates and poll workers will find up-to-date forms and applications, clarity on deadlines, and the latest news regarding the 2020 General Election.
Delco Votes! Can be found here: www.delcopa.gov/vote
* Voters should be aware that, per Pennsylvania state law, the third-party return of ballots is prohibited unless the person returning the ballot is rendering assistance to a disabled voter or an emergency absentee voter. Such assistance requires a declaration signed by the voter and the person rendering assistance. Copies of these forms can be found on our website.