Mail-in and absentee ballots have gone out, ballot drop boxes are going up and Bucks County’s first municipal election with mail-in voting is underway.
And as more ballots arrive in mailboxes, phones at the Board of Elections office are lighting up – many with voters all calling with similar questions.
To address some common topics causing confusion, the Board of Elections has put together a brief FAQ touching on the questions or Board of Elections staff is hearing most often.
Q. There is no candidate listed for an office, is my ballot misprinted?
- There are many offices on the ballot for which no one filed paperwork run for that office. You can either leave it blank or write-in vote for a candidate of your choice. There is no obligation to vote for all offices.
Q. There is no candidate of my party listed for an office on the ballot, what do I do?
- There are many offices where only candidates from one party filed paperwork to run for that office. If you do not want to vote for a candidate that is listed on the ballot you can either leave it blank, a write in a candidate of your choice. There is no obligation to vote for all offices.
Q. A candidate is listed with two different party affiliations on the ballot. What does that mean?
- Candidates for certain offices can “cross file” to run as a candidate from multiple parties on one ballot. Also, if a candidate running with one party affiliation in the primary received enough write-in votes from another party, that candidate can be listed with both parties in November.
Q. Party affiliations of judges up for retention are not listed. Why not?
- In a retention election, a candidate’s party is not to be listed. The ballot simply asks “yes or no” on whether the candidate should be retained for an additional term. It is up to voters to do their own research. The Bucks County Board of Election does not provide information on candidates. Voters may contact their county political party headquarters or organizations such as the League of Women Voters for candidate information.
Q. My envelope ripped. Can I use tape to fix it?
- There is no issue using tape to seal or fix your envelope. However, you must not put any marks on your secrecy envelope that would identify you (initial, signature, etc.) or for which candidates you intend to vote. Such marks will void your ballot.
Q. I accidently signed my spouse’s/roommate’s ballot envelope. What do I do?
- Be careful to make sure the ballot envelope you are filling out is your own, and not an envelope belonging to someone else from your household. The declaration envelope will have your name on it. Be sure to sign and date.
Q. I need a new envelope. Where can I get one?
- If you would like to receive a replacement envelope, the Board of Elections office can mail one to you, or - to receive one more quickly – you can pick one up at the Board of Elections or one of its satellite offices. Offices are located at:
Upper Bucks Government Services Center
261 California Road
Quakertown, PA 18951
Bucks County Administration Building
55 East Court Street
Doylestown, PA 18901
Lower Bucks Government Services Center
7321 New Falls Road
Levittown, PA 19055
Q. I've completed my ballot. How can I drop it off?
- Completed mail-in and absentee ballots may be sent back to the Board of Elections Office through the mail, or deposited in one of the county's official ballot drop boxes. Drop boxes are monitored by Board of Elections staff, emptied daily and locked during off hours. Drop boxes are in place at the three county government offices (addresses listed above), and starting Oct. 18 will also be available at several libraries throughout the county. For a complete listing of drop box locations and hours of operation, click here.
For more information about voting in Bucks County, visit the Board of Elections website.
Media Contact: James O’Malley, 215-348-6414, firstname.lastname@example.org