Friday, August 28, 2020

General Election FAQs

NorCo's Elections Office has provided an excellent list of Frequently Asked Questions for Northampton County voters concerned about the General Election which will be held on November 3rd.

Can I vote by mail?
·        Yes. Act 77, which was passed in 2019, allows for no excuse mail-in voting. Applications must be received by October 27th and are available in the Election’s Office or online at https://www.votespa.com/Pages/default.aspx

How do I know my application has been accepted or if my ballot has been received?
·        Citizens who sign up on votespa.com will receive emails about their application/ballot status. Voters who applied on paper can track the status of their ballot at votespa.com

Why did I get an email saying my application for a mail-in ballot has been declined?
·        It’s likely that a duplicate application was filed. Some voters forgot that they also requested a mail-in ballot for the General Election when they filled out an application for the Primary. Also, local groups have sent out unsolicited applications, confusing some voters into applying more than once.

When will ballots go out in the mail?
·        Ballots will start being mailed out by the end of September. Voters can check the status of their ballot on-line at votespa.com

I’m worried about getting my mail-in ballot back to the Elections Office on time.
·        To be counted, ballots must be returned to the Election’s Office by 8:00PM on November 3rd. Right now, we are recommending voters return their ballot as soon as possible or at least get it in the mail by October 20th.

What kind of stamp should I use to mail my ballot back?
·        Return envelopes are metered with first class postage. Voters do not have to use a stamp.

Do I have to return my ballot by mail?
·        No. Ballots can be returned directly to the Election’s Office at the Government Center or, for those who prefer to not go through security, to the secure ballot drop-off box in the Rotunda. (The box will be installed when ballots become available.) The Government Center is located at 669 Washington Street Easton, PA 18042.

Can someone else deliver my ballot to the Elections Office?
·        If you come into the office, you may be asked for your ID or, if you’re dropping off someone else’s ballot, you will be asked for a signed “Certification of Designated Agent” form.  A copy of the form can be downloaded at votespa.com

Is there anything visible on the outside of the mail-in ballot envelope that indicates my party affiliation such as a “D” for Democrat?
·        No

I requested a mail-in ballot, but I’ve changed my mind and want to vote at the polls.
·        Voters can cancel their mail-in ballots by filling out a form at votespa.com until September 1st.

It’s after September 1st. I requested a mail-in ballot but now I want to vote in-person at the polls.
·        Voters should bring their mail-in ballots and the return envelope to the polls. The Judge of Election will spoil the ballot and let them vote on the machine.

Will the polls be open on November 3rd?
·        Yes. As of right now, the Election’s Office plans on staffing all 154 precincts with 315 voting machines.

Have the ExpressVote XL machines been tested?
·        Yes. The machines were all recalibrated after the election in November 2019 and will undergo testing before the election on November 3rd. The machines performed very well in the June Primary.

Have any polling locations changed?
·        Northampton 4 is now at Gospel Church 1769 Newport Ave; Hellertown 3 is now at Saucon Valley High School Gym; Easton 8W and 8E is now at Paxinosa Elementary School.

Do I have to wear a mask at the polls? What about the poll workers?
·        All poll workers are required to wear masks. We strongly request that voters wear masks out of respect to the people who volunteer in our elections.

Who should voters call if they have problems or questions either before or on Election Day?
·        The Northampton County Elections Office: 610-829-6260 or election@northamptoncounty.org  

Our democracy increases in strength the more we all participate. If you, or someone you know, has an interest in taking a more active role, please consider becoming a poll worker. Poll workers are paid for their training time and their work on Election Day. https://www.northamptoncounty.org/CTYADMN/ELECTNS/Pages/PollWorkers.aspx

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Excellent Information!

Anonymous said...

Bernie, Please delete after reading.
Please create one post you can call: Bring Back Business Day. Folks can suggest new or closed businesses that someone with "deep pockets" can consider reopening.

Anonymous said...

To any readers of this site from western New Jersey, the procedures and security of your mail-in voting will not be the same as for Pennsylvania. The only way to ensure our votes have the greatest chance of being correctly tabulated is to remove as many “middle men” from the process.

Wherever possible, vote in-person at the polls, just as you’ve done before. But, in the end, this is this most critical election of our lives. The contrast in candidates has never been so stark. So, PLEASE, vote whichever way is best for you. The futures of your family are at stake.

Chris Casey said...

great Public Service putting this out. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Good info. I was going to vote for Trump again. But I was assaulted by hooded protesters who sprayed me with urine after beating me up, torching my car and calling me a racist. That convinced me to vote Biden.

Anonymous said...

There should not be any mail in ballots except for absentee ballots. Also why are taxpayers paying for the return ballots.

Anonymous said...

The rioting and physical harm done in so many places across America is not a good look. The Democrat-run cities are being USED by Marxist leaning groups. This mayhem does NOT reflect poorly on Trump. If a reader believes it does, please explain.

Anonymous said...

Who will ensure that the Democrats do nothing illegal to steal the election that day?

Anonymous said...

Will Cozze also provide a brochure on what to vote for? She has alredy been on social media giving her political views. One employee was dfi8red for the same thing but not this adminntration favorite.

Anonymous said...

We are living in Trump's America right now! Protests, violence, gaslighting, fear mongering, race baiting, an out of control pandemic (180,000+ dead Americans) with no plan in place to get under control. Unemployment thru the roof, foreclosures & homelessness on the rise. 4 more years of this??? I don't think so...

Trump and his entire administration is failing our nation (you & me) in so many ways how could you possibly vote for him and give him more time to fuck things up?

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Will Cozze also provide a brochure on what to vote for? She has alredy been on social media giving her political views. One employee was dfi8red for the same thing but not this adminntration favorite."

Cozze made one comment on social media concerning a referendum, not a partisan issue. I believed that, as the chief elections official, her comment was way out of line and have said so. But I am hard put to find any county policy to prevent her from speaking out. This should be addressed. It might have violated the county's policy on social media, but I have not seen that policy. From what I understand, there will be no repetition of this mistake. I am unaware if any county employee who was fired for the same thing.

Anonymous said...

Bernie - This is very helpful, would you do the same for Lehigh County?

Anonymous said...

Breaking news: Now the Trump administration has informed the House and Senate Select Committees on Intelligence that it'll no longer be briefing on election security issues, a senior administration official told CNN. It'll provide written updates.
Why is that?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Except for the Express Vote XL and polling locations, the information is the same in Lehigh.