County has drop box option for ballots

The drop-off box for Lawrence County mail-in ballot voters is located inside the main entrance doors of the courthouse.

Lawrence County residents who are voting by mail for the upcoming Nov. 2 election now have the option of depositing their ballots into a drop box.

Lawrence County election worker Tim Germani said one drop box is available, located inside the double doors of the main entrance of the Lawrence County courthouse. People may leave their ballots there until 8 p.m. Nov. 2.

The other options for mail-in and absentee ballots is to deliver them in person to the elections office on the first floor of the courthouse, or to send them by mail.

The deadline for voters to apply for mail-in ballots is 5 p.m. Tuesday, according a news release from the Pennsylvania Department of State.

Voters who complete their mail-in ballots have until 8 p.m. election night, Nov. 2, to return them to the Lawrence County elections office.

As soon as voters receive their mail ballots, they should:

•Read the instructions carefully.

•Fill out the ballot, following instructions on how to mark selections.

•Seal the ballot in the inner secrecy envelope that indicates “Official Election Ballot.” Do not to make any stray marks on the envelope. Do not disclose your identity on it.

•Seal the secrecy envelope inside the pre-addressed outer return envelope.

•Complete the voter’s declaration on the outer envelope by signing and writing the current date. For the ballot to be counted, it must be enclosed in both envelopes and the voter must sign and date only the outer envelope.

•Affix sufficient postage to the outer envelope before mailing.

Voters should return their voted ballot to the county elections office at the courthouse by either mailing the ballots before Nov. 2 or hand-delivering them there or to a designated drop-box site. Lawrence County is anticipating setting up a drop-box, but it has not yet been announced. Hand-delivered ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Pennsylvania voters also can choose to vote at their respective polling sites in person on Election Day, provided the are registered and have not already voted by mail ballot. The polls will be open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Voters who received absentee or mail-in ballots may vote in person on Election Day if they take their un-voted mail ballot and envelopes with them to be voided. After a voter surrenders his ballot packet and signs a declaration, he can then vote a regular ballot. Voters who already voted and returned their mail ballot are not eligible to vote in person on Election Day.

Voters who requested a mail ballot and did not receive it or do not have it to surrender may vote by provisional ballot at their polling place. The provisional ballots will be reviewed by the county board of elections after Election Day to determine whether they will be counted.

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