submitted by Becky Bartlett, Northampton County
The Elections Office is providing a list of Frequently Asked Questions for Northampton voters for the General Election which will be held on November 3.
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 27 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 p.m. on November 3. Right now, we are recommending voters return their ballot as soon as possible or at least get it in the mail by October 20.
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?
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 1.
It’s after September 1. 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 3?
· 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 3. 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 firstname.lastname@example.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.