How and Where to Apply for an Absentee Ballot
 

What I need to know about voting by Absentee due to the Voter ID Law

  • New identification requirements took effect in November 2012.
  • Voters must provide PA drivers license number, last 4 digits of Social Security Number, or a copy of an accepted photo ID when applying for an absentee ballot.
  • Voters may provide identifying number to county over the phone, by email or mail.
  • Identification will be verified by the county board of elections before the voters ballot will be counted. Voters have 6 days following an election to provide the necessary identification.
  • UOCAVA voters and voters affected by the Voting Accessibility for Elderly and Handicapped Act are exempt.

Qualifications for Absentee Voters

In order to vote by Absentee Ballot, you must be a registered voter, (unless you are a member of the Armed Forces or a hospitalized or bedridden veteran outside your county of residence). You must also either be:

  • Unable to attend your polling place due to illness or physical disability
  • Absent from your municipality of residence on the day of the election during the time the polls are open
  • Not attending your polling place on the day of the election during the time the polls are open due to your observance of a religious holiday.

How to Apply for an Absentee Ballot

Applications for Absentee Ballots are available at the Berks County Election Services Office, 1st Floor of the County Services Building, located at the corner of Reed and Court Streets, downtown Reading, PA 19601 or for more information you may call (610) 478-6490. Regular business hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

You may also obtain an application from the Pennsylvania Department of State's Web site or the Election Services Web site under Forms & Applications. There you may download, print, complete, sign and send the form to:

 

Attn: Election Services, Berks County Services Center, 633 Court St, Reading, PA 19601

 

Upon receipt and approval of the completed Absentee Ballot application, the Office will then mail the Absentee Ballot as soon as it is printed.

For fastest results, personally visit the Office and complete an application. As soon as the ballots are printed, if you are properly registered, you will be handed an absentee ballot to vote right there. It takes only a few minutes.

Deadline to Apply for an Absentee Ballot

Completed Absentee Ballot applications must be received in the Election Services Office no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Tuesday prior to the Primary or Election.

It is strongly suggested that you secure, complete and return your Absentee Ballot application as soon as possible. This will provide sufficient mailing time for us to receive and process your application, mail your ballot, and allow you to vote and return your ballot by the deadline.

Deadline for Return of Your Voted Absentee Ballot

All voted Absentee Ballots must be received in the Election Services Office no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Friday prior to the prior Primary or Election in order to be counted.

Important Instructions for Returning your Voted Absentee Ballot

All voted Absentee Ballots must be sent by mail or express or overnight mail (which includes DHL, FedEx and UPS, for example) or delivered IN PERSON by the absentee ballot voter. Voted absentee ballots returned by any other means will not be accepted or counted by the Board of Elections. Disabled voters may designate another person to assist in obtaining and delivering their absentee ballot. More information and the necessary form(s) or application(s) for this voting option may be obtained on the website under Forms & Applications

How and Where to Apply for an Alternative Ballot

Qualifications for Alternative Ballot Voters

Public Law 98-435 provides that elderly and disabled voters who are assigned to an inaccessible polling place be provided with an alternative means of casting their ballot on the day of the Primary or Election. In order to qualify for an Alternative Ballot pursuant to P.L.98-435, you must be a registered voter and:

  • You must be 65 years of age (or older) or have a temporary or permanent physical disability which prohibits you from entering a polling place with architectural barriers and;
  • Your polling place has been designated as "inaccessible"

In order to determine whether or not your polling place is "inaccessible", please contact the Election Services Office at (610) 478-6490.

How to Apply for an Alternative Ballot

Applications for Alternative Ballots are available at the Berks County Election Services Office, 1st Floor of the County Services Building, located at the corner of Reed and Court Streets, downtown Reading, PA 19601 or for more information you may call (610) 478-6490. Regular business hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

You may also obtain an application from the Pennsylvania Department of State's Web site or the Election Services Web site under Forms & Applications. There you may download, print, complete, sign and send the form to:

Attn: Election Services, Berks County Services Center, 633 Court St, Reading, PA 19601
 
 

 

Upon receipt and approval of the completed Alternative Ballot application, the Elections Division will then mail the Alternative Ballot as soon as it has been printed.

Deadline to Apply for an Alternative Ballot

Completed Alternative Ballot applications must be received in the office of the Elections Division no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Tuesday prior to the Primary or Election.

It is strongly suggested that you secure, complete and return your Alternative Ballot applications as soon as possible. This will provide sufficient mailing time for us to receive and process your application, mail your ballot, and allow you to vote and return your ballot by the deadline.

Deadline for Return of Your Voted Alternative Ballot

All voted Absentee Ballots must be received in the office of the Elections Services no later than 8:00 p.m. on the day of the Primary or Election in order to be counted.

Important Instructions for Returning your Voted Alternative Ballot

All voted Alternative Ballots must be sent by mail or express or overnight mail (which includes DHL, FedEx and UPS, for example) or delivered IN PERSON by the alternative ballot voter. Voted alternative ballots returned by any other means will not be accepted or counted by the Elections Division. Disabled voters may designate another person to assist in obtaining and delivering their alternative ballot. More information and the necessary form(s) or application(s) for this voting option may be obtained on the Pennsylvania Department of State's Website.