Deadline is Monday to register to vote
Pennsylvania procrastinators have only a few days left to register to vote if they want to cast a ballot in the upcoming presidential election.
Would-be voters have until Monday to complete a voter registration form. The applications can be completed online at votes.pa.com until 11:59 p.m. Those completing a paper registration form must turn it in to their election office no later than 5 p.m ., though some county election offices may close earlier than that.
To be eligible, voters must be 18 years or older by Election Day, a U.S. citizen for at least 30 days and a resident of Pennsylvania for at least 30days. Thisyear, the resident deadline was Oct. 4.
Every vote will be closely watched in Pennsylvania, which many poll watchers and election observers have identified as a critical swing state in the presidential race between incumbent Donald Trump and challenger Joe Bid en. Northampton County in particular has received attention from national and international media outlets after shifting from supporting Barack Obama in 2012 to Trump in 2016.
According to figures provided by the Pennsylvania Department of State on Friday morning, 8.9 million Pennsylvanians have registered to vote, with Democrats holding a numerical advantage. The party has nearly 4.2 million members in the state, accounting for 46.7% of all registered voters. Republicans have almost 3.5 million members, good for 38.8% of all voters in the Keystone State. The remaining 1.2 million voters are either registered with a third party or unaffiliated.
The figures released by the
Department of State show members of the different parties are taking different approaches to voting. Democrats make up an overwhelming majority of those choosing to vote with a mail-in or absentee ballots. Sofar, 1.7 million Democrats have requested an absentee or mail-in ballot, making up 64.3% of such requests. Republicans, by contrast, account for just 24.6% of absentee or mail-in ballot requests with 672,381.
The differences mirror how leaders of the parties have embraced the different measures. While Trump has cast his ballot through the mail for years, he has repeatedly made unfounded claims the system is ripe for fraud. Many national Democrats, on the other hand, have embraced mail-in voting as a safe alternative given the spread of COVID-19.
Election officials have urged voters to return their mail-in ballots as quickly as possible due to delays in the U.S. Postal Service. So far, 683,132 ballots have been received across the state. Nearly 75% of those returned ballots have come from Democrats so far, according to the State Department.
Voters can request a mail-in or absentee ballot until Oct. 27, but election officials are urging people get their requests in as soon as possible due to the post office delays. Voters can apply online at votespa.com or at their local election office.
Voters who have not yet requested a mail-in ballot but wish to do so may be best off visiting their local election office in person and getting one over the counter. Voters who make these trips can return their ballot sin the same visit.
The Lehigh Valley’s election offices are at 17 S. Seventh Street, Allentown, in Lehigh County; and 669 Washington St., Easton, in Northampton County. Visitors are required to wear a mask and submit to temperature checks as a precaution from the corona virus.
Voters in the Lehigh Valley also have the option of returning their mail-in ballots at designated drop boxes around the region. Residents should drop off their ballots only at their county’s drop boxes. This includes residents of Bethlehem, which is split between the two counties.
Lehigh County’s drop boxes are at:
Lehigh County Government Center, 17 S. 7th St., Allentown (anytime)
Catasauqua municipal building, 90 Bridge St. (8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday)
Emmaus municipal building, 28 S. Fourth St. (8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday)
North Whitehall Township municipal building, 3256 Levans Road (7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday)
Upper Macungie Township municipal building 8330Schantz Road (7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday)
Northampton County’s drop boxes are at:
Bethlehem City Hall, 10 E. Church St. (8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays)
Northampton County Human Services Building, 2801 Emrick Blvd ., Bethlehem Township (8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays)
Northampton County Courthouse, 669 Washington St., Easton (8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays)
Northampton County 911 Center, 100 Gracedale Ave., Upper Nazareth Township (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m Mondays through Fridays)