Pennsylvanians who want a mail-in ballot for May primary should apply early, more than 600K requests

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Department of State said Monday that more than 600,000 people have applied for mail-in ballots or absentee ballots for Pennsylvania’s May 18 primary.

So far, more than 597,000 voters have applied for mail-in ballots and more than 19,000 have applied for absentee ballots.

Any eligible voter may apply for a mail-in ballot. Applications may be submitted online via the Department of State’s website. Paper applications in multiple languages are available for download.

>>RELATED STORY: Deadline to register for Pennsylvania’s May primary election fast approaching

Mail-in and absentee ballot applications must be received by a voter’s county board of elections by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 11.

Voters are urged to apply well in advance of the deadline.

To vote by mail, remember these tips and requirements:

  • Anyone registered to vote is eligible to vote by mail. The deadline to register to vote in the May 18 primary is May 3. Pennsylvanians can register to vote or check their registration status at
  • Anyone who plans to vote by mail must apply for a mail ballot. Voters can apply online or print a paper application at and return it to their county board of elections.
  • Mail ballot applications must be received by the county board of election by 5 p.m. May 11, but voters are urged to apply now, so they have plenty of time to receive and return their ballot before the election.
  • If you requested to be added to the annual mail-in ballot request list and returned the annual application mailed to you in February, you do not need to reapply for a mail ballot. You will receive one when your county has finalized and printed the ballot.
  • Voters can track the status of their mail ballot at
  • While applying for an absentee ballot still requires the voter to provide a reason, mail-in voting does not.
  • Once the voter’s application for a mail ballot is verified, their county election office will mail them a ballot after they have been finalized and printed.

Voted mail ballots must be received by the county board of elections by 8 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, May 18.

Voting by mail ballot without having to provide an excuse is relatively new to Pennsylvania. The bipartisan Act 77 of 2019, signed into law by Governor Wolf, represented the first major reforms to the Pennsylvania election law in over 80 years.