Deadlines nearing for mail-in ballot, voter registration

An envelope of a Pennsylvania official mail-in ballot for the 2020 general election is shown, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, in Marple Township, Pa. More than 2.6 million registered Pennsylvania voters have applied for a mail-in ballot as of Tuesday, three weeks before the Nov. 3 presidential election. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Lycoming County residents are urged to register to vote as soon as possible for what many believe is the most important election in years.

The voter registration deadline is Monday, Oct. 19, and the deadline to apply for a mail-in ballot is Oct. 27, according to county Voting Services Director Forest Lehman.

So far, numerous residents have applied for mail-in ballots.

“In the primary we had 10,500 applications,” he said. “This time, we are over 13,000, and we still have two weeks until the deadline.”

Lehman said there has been some voter frustration over the delivery of the mail-in ballots to residents.

The ballots started going out Oct. 2.

Delivery times, he noted, can take up to seven days.

“We are seeing a lot of people hand-deliver their ballots,” he said.

Hand-delivered mail-in ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on election day, according to state officials.

Wait times at the voter registration office in downtown Williamsport can be long for people applying for mail-in ballots or registering to vote.

“People shouldn’t come at lunch time, That is when we are busiest,” Lehman said.

The state’s online voter registration application can be found at register.votesPA.com.

The election is Tuesday, Nov. 3.

County officials are warning that individuals claiming to represent candidates, political parties, and outside interest groups are contracting residents by phone and by text message to solicit personal and financial information.

These individuals may claim to offer to help register persons to vote or apply for an absentee or mail-in ballot by phone or text message. They may request personal or financial information such as date of birth, driver’s license number, or Social Security number.

Such information should not be provided.

It is not permissible to register to vote, apply for an absentee or mail-in ballot, or cast a ballot by phone call or text in Pennsylvania, according to officials.

The person soliciting the information could be a scammer seeking personal or financial information in order to commit identity fraud.


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