Posted on Thursday, 1st October 2020 by

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Your vote matters, regardless of who you plan to vote for. Those planning their retirement and annuitants are older and may wish to vote remotely due to the pandemic. You can always request an absentee ballot. This year a number of States have initiated new vote by mail practices and there is considerable confusion in those states about the process. If you have any questions contact your state election board as soon as possible to ensure your vote will count. Many law suits have been filed by both political parties concerning these new vote-by-mail initiates due to the concerns over potential voter fraud and the possible rejection of incomplete ballots.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance for voting in person at polling locations that includes: wash your hands before and after, bring and use hand sanitizer, wear a mask, continue social distancing, bring your own blue/black ink pen and vote at off-peak hours such as mid-morning.

The general election will be held on Tuesday, November 3, but voting has already begun in many states, including Pennsylvania. Visit to register to vote or contact your state’s election board for voting requirements and procedures.  We can all help the upcoming election run smoothly by planning now for how you intend to vote.

The sooner you decide on what path you will take the better. Last year we were traveling and I requested an absentee ballot a month before our trip. It never arrived, and when we returned the ballot was not in our held mail at the post office.

My wife and I intend to vote at our local polling place this November by following the CDC guidance. We currently shop at  Walmart, grocery stores, and other local establishments and voting is no different. We will maintain social distance, wear a mask, and take a blue or black ink pen with us. Plus, we don’t have to worry about whether or not our mail-in ballot arrived and was counted.

The important and responsible thing to do is vote, regardless of the method used.

Pennsylvania’s voting process is outlined below. Your state will have similar voting resources for you to use. When voting by mail, you must follow the process precisely or your vote may be rejected.

Pennsylvania Voting

Register to vote: You can register to vote online, by mail, in person at your county voter registration office or at PennDOT and select other government agencies. If you’re not sure if you’ve already registered, check your registration status today. The deadline to register to vote for the current election cycle is Monday, October 19. I checked my voter registration; they provide a lot of helpful information including your polling place, federal congressional district, and state district offices, to name a few.

Voting in person: You can vote in person at an assigned polling place near where you live, open 7 AM to 8 PM on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3. If your name is not in the voter roster, you may have the right to vote on a provisional ballot. Poll workers can assist if you have questions on Election Day.

Voting by mail:  All qualified voters may apply for a mail-in ballot. Tuesday, October 27 is the deadline to request a mail-in or absentee ballot. Ballots must be postmarked by 8 PM on Tuesday, November 3 and received by your county election office by 5 PM on Friday, November 6. If you are concerned about USPS delays in delivering mail-in or absentee ballots, you can drop off your ballot at your county election office.

Double-check all deadlines at or call 1-877-868-3772 for the most up-to-date information. Follow the directions carefully or your vote will not be counted. Including things like marking your ballot in blue or black pen, placing and sealing your ballot in the inner secrecy envelope that says “official ballot” and then placing it in the outer return envelope, sealing it and signing it.

The process can be confusing and many are returning their ballots in the wrong envelope and are not signing the secrecy envelope when they send it in. This invalidates your vote. Read the instructions that come with your state’s mail-in voting application and follow the guidance provided when your ballot arrives.

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Disclaimer: The information provided may not cover all aspect of unique or special circumstances, federal regulations, medical procedures, and benefit information are subject to change. To ensure the accuracy of this information, contact relevant parties for assistance including OPM’s retirement center. Over time, various dynamic economic factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM or any federal entity. You should consult with a financial, medical or human resource professional where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

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