Fayette County to begin mailing ballots in early October

Waiting for your mail-in ballot to come? Local county election offices expect to begin sending them out early this month.

Larry Blosser, director of Fayette County’s election bureau, said nearly 10,000 voters have requested mail-in ballots already.

“And they’re still climbing,” he said.

He noted the office has been receiving high numbers of calls from people who reapplied for mail-in ballots after the primary, but had already checked the box indicating they would like to vote by mail in future elections.

There is no need to re-register, he said, and their application may be denied because of that. He asked anyone who receives a duplicate ballot to disregard it.

Blosser said anyone who’s applied to vote by mail but does not receive a ballot by Oct. 9 should contact the election bureau at 724-430-1289.

Greene County has a similar timetable, said commission Chairman Mike Belding, who is also chairman of the election board. He said the elections office in Waynesburg scanned test ballots last week, and expected to send ballots out the first week of the month.

Blosser said Fayette officials expect to run test ballots this week to ensure there will be no issues processing filled out ballots once they are received.

Washington County, meanwhile, started sending ballots to the more than 25,000 who requested them on Friday. Elections Director Melanie Ostrander said she expects the number of requests to double by the Oct. 27 deadline to request a mail-in ballot.

Counties were permitted to begin printing ballots last month, after the Department of State certified them.

Mail-in ballots must be returned either via mail or in person to the county election office from which they were requested. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court extended the deadline for mail-in ballots postmarked by 8 p.m. on Election Day to arrive in elections offices. Republicans are appealing the new deadline of Friday, Nov. 6, to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The deadline to make the request online at votespa.com or at the election office is Oct. 27. Voters who prefer to cast a ballot in person have two options to do so. Traditional polling places will be open from between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3. Voters can also go to their county elections office, request a paper ballot and fill it out on the spot. State officials have recommended calling individual election bureaus to schedule a time to do so.