Voting by Mail: It’s New, Easy and Better for Everyone’s Health

Laura Morris Siena, for the Shuttle

Many of us love to vote in person: the quickening step to the doors of our polling place; weaving through the phalanx of advocates for one candidate or another; and then, finally alone in the voting booth, with our choices and our knowledge that we are fulfilling our civic duty and enjoying our rights as Americans.

But this year, consider taking a different path and exercising your new right to vote by mail under the law signed by Governor Wolf as part of the Elections Reform Bill last October. If you sign up before May 26, you’ll be eligible to vote by mail before the primary election on June 2.

Go to to request your vote-by-mail ballot, and please encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same. Here are a couple of reasons:

  1. It will be safer to stay away from the polls this year, both for you and for poll workers, who are often older and in the at-risk population.
  2. It’s important that our Secretary of State’s office and all the county election boards have an opportunity to work out the kinks in our new vote-by-mail system prior to the November election, which is likely to have one of the highest turnouts in our nation’s history. Receiving and submitting your primary ballot by mail will help those agencies troubleshoot problems prior to the general election. By signing up now, you will automatically receive a vote-by-mail ballot for Nov. 3.

It’s easy to do this online, and you can check that your address is correct and make any other changes to your status at the same time. You will need your driver’s license or Real ID in order to complete the application, which will take just five minutes.

If you have any problems with the application, contact the Secretary of State’s office by phone: 877-VOTESPA (877-868-3772).