BUTLER, Pa. (KDKA) – With Election Day a week away, Butler County’s elections bureau says the Department of State is checking with the USPS about reported mail delays.
The Butler County Bureau of Elections says all ballots requested before this week have been mailed. They say they got a notice from the Department of State saying they’d made an inquiry to the USPS about mail delays.
As of Tuesday, Pennsylvania voters are no longer able to apply for an absentee or mail-in ballot.
The deadline also means voters can no longer vote early by applying for a ballot in-person at their local election bureau, complete it and return it over the counter.
In Butler County, voters raced to the courthouse, scrambling for ballots.
Aaron Sheasley, Butler County elections director, told KDKA the rush started Monday when hundreds of voters flocked to the elections office for ballots.
“These are the last of the people that waited until the last minute,” said Sheasley.
Butler County voter Tim Hilster told KDKA he came Tuesday because of last minute schedule changes.
“I found out that I’m actually headed out of town to Chicago over the weekend. So, I’m not going to be here next week,” said Hilster.
The line to enter the elections office wrapped around the hallway and up three flights of stairs. Some stood for an hour.
If you applied before Tuesday’s deadline but haven’t received your ballot, you still have a week to receive and return it.
The Butler County elections bureau says they’re committed to getting ballots to everyone who requested one. If you haven’t gotten your ballot yet, you have four options.
You can vote in-person by bringing your ID to the elections bureau, where you’ll be given a new mail-in ballot that you can return immediately. The old ballot will then be voided in the voter system.
You can also still vote at your polling place if you’ve requested or received a mail-in ballot. If you’ve already gotten your ballot, you can surrender it at the polling place, sign an affidavit, then vote normally. If you haven’t gotten your ballot, you can vote at your polling place using a provisional ballot.
If you can’t come to the elections bureau or go to the polls, you can call 724-284-5308 and a deputy may schedule a time to deliver a ballot to your home. You’ll then have to mail the ballot or drop it off.
Lastly, you can request another ballot be mailed to you.
The Butler County Bureau of Elections has expanded its hours to 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday.
You can read more about Election Day from the elections bureau online.
In Allegheny County Tuesday, there was a similar scene. Voters also hit the elections division office on Forbes Avenue in droves.
Allegheny County Councilwoman Bethany Hallam told KDKA voters should return their ballots as soon as possible and suggests mailing them back now may be cutting it too close because “at this point, USPS is not guaranteeing it will get to the elections division by Election Day,” said Hallam.
If you’ve applied for a mail-in ballot but would rather vote in person on Election Day, you must bring your entire ballot package with you next Tuesday, otherwise you’d have to vote a provisional ballot.