There are plenty of ideas and a glossary of abbreviations and definitions flying around regarding voting in this year’s election.

 

Vote By Mail (VBM)
Mail-in Ballot (MIB)
Drop boxes
Absentee Ballot
Vote in person
Voter fraud
Naked Ballots

 

How many have clutched their newly arrived MIB wondering what to do with it, or worried about it being challenged or not counting? The media has helped to hype these fears.
This message conveys the comfort that your vote will count. Plans being implemented by Chester County Voter Services and the State will ensure secure and safe voting. Scroll to see information on:
  • Ways to return your MIB
  • How your MIB is processed (and why it is safe and secure and the best way to vote if you already have a MIB)
  • Some FAQs

 

MOST IMPORTANT –
CHECK THE STATUS OF YOUR MIB HERE

And if you have not received your MIB, CALL VOTER SERVICES: 610-344-6410

FACTS ABOUT MAIL-IN VOTING IN CHESTER COUNTY, PA

Misinformation about voting is nothing less than voter suppression. Outlined below are important facts specific to Mail-In Voting in Chester County.  This information will be updated regularly HERE

IF YOU ARE NOT REGISTERED TO VOTE  IT IS NOT TOO LATE!
UNITL OCTOBER 19YOU CAN GO TO VOTER SERVICES AT:
601 WESTTOWN ROAD AND REGISTER IN PERSON AND APPLY FOR A MAIL-IN BALLOT AND VOTE WHILE YOU ARE THERE!

 

OPTIONS: Three Ways to Return Your MAIL-IN BALLOT (MIB)

1. Mail: Mail your MIB as soon as you receive it — but BEFORE October 20, 2020*, allowing two weeks to arrive at Voter Services. Your ballot must be post-marked by November 3rd and received by November 6th to be counted – so don’t delay.

2. Drop Off: (RECOMMENDED OPTION) Drop off your ballot at Voter Services or a remote Drop Box location and place it in the secure ballot box no later than 8pm on Election Day, November 3rd. Voter Services is located at 601 Westtown Road, West Chester, PA. There is also a Drop Box at the Kennett Library and one at the Avon Grove Library. A full list of all drop off locations can be found HERE

3. Vote in Person at the Polls: If you bring your MIB (which MUST include the inner and outer envelope) with you, you can turn in the ballot at your polling place and you will be given a regular ballot to vote. You can NOT just drop your ballot off at your polling place.

**Still concerned about MIBs? Please read below. Your MIB will be counted on Election Day!**

 

I WANT MY VOTE TO COUNT. HOW IS MY MIB PROCESSED?

What happens after I submit my MIB?

  • When MIB ballots are delivered to Voter Services (either by USPS or Drop Box) Voter Services will scan the bar code on the back of the envelope so your MIB will be recorded as “received.” You will receive an email notification when this occurs but you may also check the status of your ballot HERE.
  • The Voter’s Declaration on the back of the envelope will be checked for completion and the voter will be notified with any problems. As long as you sign and date it, there should be no problems.
  • Your MIB is then placed with other MIBs from your precinct.
  • Beginning at 7am on Election Day:
    MIBs are opened.
    The secrecy envelope is removed from the outer (mailing) envelope.
    The ballot is removed from the inner secrecy envelope.
    The ballot is scanned into the voting machine.

(NOTE: ‘Naked’ ballots, those without the secrecy envelope, will NOT be counted and voters cannot be notified since by this point the ballots are anonymous.)

  • At 8pm when polls close, MIBs will continue to be scanned until all MIBs are scanned. When all MIBs have been scanned the voting (scanning) machines will tally the total votes from the ballots scanned.

The sorting, opening, and scanning processes are observed by candidates (or representatives) and Canvass Observers from both political parties. The entire process is recorded and all documents are retained for audit or recount if ordered.

 

FAQs – COMMON QUESTIONS AND TIPS

Did I already apply to vote by mail? 
If you voted by mail in the Primary and are not sure if you applied to vote by mail in the General Election, simply check HERE or call 1-833-728-6837 to determine if you are receiving a Mail-In Ballot for the November 3rd General Election.

When do I need to return my completed Mail-In Ballot? 
If you decide to mail your completed MIB, we strongly suggest mailing it by October 20, 2020* at the latest. This ensures sufficient time for delivery through the USPS. After that date, we suggest dropping off your MIB at Voter Services located at 601 Westtown Road, West Chester, PA. or at one of the secure drop boxes set up by Voter Services throughout Chester County. There is a secure drop box at the Kennett Library and one at Avon Grove Library.

Do not let anyone take your MIB on your behalf. That is not permitted. If you need a ride to a drop off location or Voter Services so you can take your MIB, please contact us and we will find someone to drive you so you can personally drop off your MIB.

What if I received my MIB but have missed a deadline or lost my ballot?
If you applied for a MIB but do not receive it, you can go to Voter Services in-person at 601 Westtown Road, West Chester, PA and get a new MIB,  fill it in, and submit it while you are at Voter Services.

If you still have your actual MIB on Election Day, November 3, do not mail it. Instead, you can place it in one of the drop off boxes OR you can bring it (with both the Mailing and Official Ballot envelopes) to your regular polling place and poll workers will do what is called, “spoil” the MIB and then you can vote by casting a REGULAR ballot in person.

If you applied for a MIB but you do not have your ballot (because you lost it or never received it), you can go to your polling location and request a provisional ballot which will be counted once it is confirmed that your MIB has not already been counted.

How can I confirm that my MIB is delivered?
After you submit your ballot, you can track its status HERE.
or by calling PA DEMS Voter Hotline at: 1-833-728-6837.