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Deadline for new voters to register is Monday

Voters have several ways to cast ballots

Sentinel photo by BRIAN COX
Voters in Mifflin County who requested a mail-in ballot have the option to return their ballot directly to the Mifflin County Courthouse in Lewistown by placing it in this official drop box. The drop box is located just inside the main entrance, meaning voters returning ballots need not go through the security checkpoint to do so.

LEWISTOWN — For anyone wishing to vote in this year’s election who hasn’t yet registered, time is quickly running out.

Monday is the deadline to register and be eligible to vote in the Nov. 3 general election — an election that will see voters in this area select not only a president and vice president of the United States, but members of Congress and members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

For those wishing to register, there are three viable options this close to the deadline.

The first is to simply visit the voter registration office inside the county courthouse. In Mifflin County, the courthouse is open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. In Juniata County, the courthouse is open from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Prospective voters may also register to vote online by accessing the form at https://www.votespa.com/Register-to-Vote/Pages/How-to-Register-to-Vote.aspx.

A third option is to register to vote at any Pennsylvania Department of Transportation driver’s license center while updating or obtaining a driver’s license. There is a driver’s license center in Yeagertown that is open from 8:30 a.m. until 4:15 p.m. today. It is closed Monday.

Voters may also register by mail, but mail-in applications have to be received by the county elections office by Monday.

Once registered, then voters must decide how they plan to cast a ballot.

Upon registering, voters will be notified of the location of their polling place if the voter desires to vote in person on election day.

The first time voting in a polling place, voters will be required to show some form of identification. Valid forms of ID for voting include a driver’s license; U.S. passport; military, student or employee ID; voter registration card; firearm permit; current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or government check; or any ID issued by the state or federal government. Any form of identification without a photo must have the voter’s current address on it. First-time voters who do not bring ID will be able to cast a provisional ballot. Polling places are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. and anyone who is in line at the polling place at or before 8 p.m. is entitled to vote.

If a voter chooses to obtain an absentee ballot, the voter will have to provide a valid reason for not being able to vote in person on election day. People who may request an absentee ballot include college students; people whose work or vacation take them away from the municipality where they live; those with a physical disability or illness that prevents them from going to the polling place; members of the military; or people who may have a conflict due to the celebration of a religious holiday.

If a voter chooses to vote via mail-in ballot, no valid reason is required. Applications for mail-in ballots must be received no later than Oct. 27 and the ballot must be postmarked on or before Nov. 3 and received by the county election office no later than 5 p.m. Nov. 6 for it to count. Voters also must follow the instructions carefully in order for their ballot to count. Mail-in and absentee ballots may also be delivered to the county elections office in person or left at an official ballot drop location. In Mifflin County, there is an official ballot drop box in the courthouse lobby in Lewistown. The ballot must be returned by the voter or authorized designated agent.

Voters may also utilize the mail-in ballot process for early voting. Voters would visit the county elections office and fill out a form requesting a mail-in ballot. When doing so, voters will be required to have proof or identification. Once the application is verified, mark the ballot and closely follow the instructions for sealing it., then hand it back to the county elections official. Anyone voting via this method must do so by 5 p.m. on Oct. 27.

Anyone who signed up for a mail-in or absentee ballot but wishing to vote in person must take the ballot and both the secrecy envelope and the outer envelope with them to the polling place on election day.

The general election is Nov. 3.

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