Are you mailing your ballot? Here’s what to know about postage

Jean Gary drops off her ballot at City Hall

Jean Gary, a North Philadelphia resident, drops off her ballot at City Hall. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

This story originally appeared on WITF.

Mail-in voters in some parts of the state might need to pay for a little more postage than usual to return their ballot for next month’s election.

That’s because there are a lot of races and candidates on the ballot in some parts of the state.

“The ballot is extremely long in several of our counties and they’re like up to three pages, which means that the cost of returning those ballots is more than just a single stamp,” Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth Veronica Degraffenreid said.

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The Wolf administration had used federal pandemic aid money to front the cost of mail ballot postage for the 2020 election. But with that money exhausted, if you’re voting by mail, the Department of State says you should double check to see if you’ll need one or two stamps by stopping in at a post office.

But if all else fails, Degraffenreid said the U.S. Postal Service is prioritizing election mail. So, even without proper postage, mail carriers will still deliver ballots to county election offices.

That’s according to rules the Postal Service has in place on handling election mail.

“But we don’t want there to be any delays for voters for any reason,” Degraffenreid added. “Because of how long it may take in some cases, we encourage voters to not delay: get your ballot to a county election office in the most expedient way possible.”

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Mail service is getting slower, as part of an austerity plan put in place by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.

To avoid delays, Degraffenreid and others recommend mail-in voters return their ballots either by mail or to county election offices well ahead of the Nov. 2 election deadline. The last day to request a mail-in ballot for next month’s election is Oct. 26, next Tuesday.

The Department of State has more info on mail-in voting, including how to properly return one and where voters can drop them off.

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