Ballot return sites to open this weekend in Allegheny County

ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. — Voters in Allegheny County who’d prefer to drop off their mail-in ballots in person will have numerous options starting this weekend.

County leaders are opening six ballot return sites come Saturday, April 13. Voters also have the option to turn in ballots at the County Office Building downtown.

The ballot return sites are as follows, and will only be open this weekend and next:

East End: Carnegie Public Library of Squirrel Hill (Marlborough Ave entrance) 5801 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15217

South: South Park Ice Rink 30 Corrigan Drive, Bethel Park, PA 15102

North: North Park Ice Rink 1200 Pearce Mill Road, Wexford, PA 15090

East: Boyce Park Four Seasons Lodge 901 Centerview Drive, Plum, PA 15239

West: 911 Call Center 150 Hookstown Grade Road, Moon, PA 15108

Mon Valley: Kane McKeesport 100 Ninth Street, McKeesport, PA 15132

Voters are not able to pick up ballots at the above locations. Rather, they can return their completed ballots between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays before Election Day. Ballots cannot be slipped under the doorways during off-hours and rather must be handed to an election worker, who will place it within the secured ballot box.

Voters must complete their ballots and place them first within the secrecy envelope. The secrecy envelope must then be placed within the outer envelope, which voters must sign and accurately date. Poll workers should be able to tell if a sealed ballot is missing a secrecy envelope based on weight, and can provide voters with an extra one at the return sites.

According to Allegheny County’s Communications Director Abigail Gardner, each outer envelope has a unique barcode that ensures voters cannot vote more than once.

Garnder told Channel 11 that all of the return sites will be staffed and under video surveillance. Channel 11 got a tour of the Boyce Park location on Friday and observed cameras pointing to the ballot box.

Each night, an election worker will transport the ballot box to the Election Warehouse.

“All of the ballot return sites will have a county police officer there and the county police officer will be part of the escort to take the ballots to the warehouse every night,” Gardner said. “So it’s a very secure system. We talk about chain of custody: the ballots are never unaccounted for. There’s always somebody with them who’s watching them, who’s in charge of making sure they get to the warehouse securely.”

Each voter is only able to return their own ballot unless they have completed authorization forms to turn in a ballot on behalf of someone who is physically unable to vote. If voters require assistance they can call 412-350-4500 for more information.

The deadline to apply for a mail-in ballot is Tuesday, April 16. Voters can apply for one online at pa.gov or in person at the County Office Building, located downtown at 429 Forbes Ave. “Over the counter” voting will be offered in the lobby this Monday and Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Voters who need to vote before April 23 but do not apply for a mail-in ballot by the Tuesday, April 16 deadline must request an Emergency Ballot at the County Office Building.

Voters can otherwise return completed ballots there each weekday leading up to Election Day.

As of Friday, more than 100,000 mail-in ballot applications have been processed.

If you’d prefer to vote in person at your polling place, don’t forget that 62 have moved. Confirm your polling place at vote.pa.gov

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