Election officials in Bucks County are preparing for the Nov. 2 election, the first with additional drop boxes.
There are several ways voters can cast their ballots and several additional locations where they can do that this year.
After strong lobbying by Bucks Voice, a nonpartisan voter engagement group, the county’s Board of Elections agreed earlier this year to add eight drop boxes across Bucks to offer access to more voters. Three ballot drop boxes at the county’s administrative buildings remain available. On demand mail-in and absentee ballots are available at those government drop box sites.
To see the location and hours of the boxes, visit buckscounty.gov/1225/Vote-by-Mail
The drop boxes will be monitored by Board of Elections employees and all have 24/7 video surveillance, said county officials.
Voters can only return their own ballot in a drop box unless they have been authorized as a “designated agent” for another voter, according to state law. A form for such designation is available on the county’s board of elections website.
If mailing a ballot through the U.S. Postal Service, there’s no restriction on how many ballots can be sent at any given time.
Officials advise voters casting mail in or absentee ballots through the postal service to do so as soon as possible to ensure they arrive at the Board of Elections on time.
As always, people can vote in person at their polling places. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, poll workers will be provided protective gear, including gloves, masks and face shields. The only time a voter needs to provide identification is if they are voting for the first time or if they are voting for the first time in their precinct.
To apply for a ballot, a voter must provide a valid driver’s license number or the last four digits of their Social Security number, according to election officials. To see what forms of ID are accepted, visit Vote.PA. Officials ask that you only apply once, as doing so more than once just slows down the manual process.
In person voting began Sept. 30 at the Bucks County Administrative building in Doylestown.
For those casting mail-in ballots, please be sure to use the “secrecy” envelope before placing your ballot in the mailing envelope and signing it. Be sure you’re signing your own ballot, not a spouse’s, by accident, officials caution.