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The do's and don'ts of voting by mail

Are you planning to vote by mail this upcoming election? If so, here are some key steps to take while voting and what to avoid.
Credit: AP
FILE - A person drops off a mail-in ballot at an election ballot return box in Willow Grove, Pa., Oct. 25, 2021. Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are crucial swing states that allow mail-in ballots but give local election offices very little if any time before Election Day to process them. Election workers’ inability to check signatures, addresses and get the mailed ballots ready for counting ahead of time means many of the those ballots may not be counted on Election Day. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — Are you planning to vote by mail this upcoming election? If so, here are some key steps to take while voting and what to avoid, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State

Make sure to return your ballot by the deadline. They must be received by the local county board of elections by 8 p.m. on Nov. 8. 

Another important step is to seal your ballot inside both envelopes. Only ballots delivered in both envelopes, these being the inner secrecy envelope marked "Official Election Ballot" sealed inside the outer return envelope will be counted by officials. 

The Pa. Department of State also encouraged voters to complete the pre-addressed outer return envelope. Make sure to sign and date the Voter's Declaration on the back of the outer return envelope before submitting the ballot. 

Some important steps to avoid include waiting to return your voted ballot. 

Officials encourage voters to turn their envelopes in as soon as possible. Voters can either hand deliver their ballots to their county election office or submit them by mail, but they must be in by 8 p.m. on Nov. 8.

Under Pennsylvania law, voters may only return their own ballots. Therefore, don't deliver someone else's ballot unless you are a designated agent. 

A designated agent would be specifically designated by a voter with a disability to deliver the voter. Additionally, voters who need third-part delivery of emergency absentee ballots can assign designated agents. 

For more information on voting and elections, click here. To register for a mail-in ballot, visit this website

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