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Philly Ballot-Only Dropoff Boxes Installed

posted May 29, 2020, 1:04 PM by David Cardy
Philadelphia Inquirer - Philadelphia voters who don’t have time to send back their mail ballots for Tuesday’s primary can instead drop them off at multiple locations across the city beginning Saturday.

Elections officials installed a standalone ballot drop box in the south portal of City Hall last week.

Saturday through Monday, city workers will have 10 pop-up sites around the city, available for two hours at a time to collect ballots from voters. On Tuesday, there will be 11 additional drop boxes for voters to hand-deliver their ballots up until the 8 p.m. deadline, when polls close and mail ballots are no longer accepted.

Drop boxes are new for Philadelphia — and largely foreign to Pennsylvania — because state election law used to restrict absentee ballots so much that only about 5% of votes in any election were cast by mail. But a new election law now allows any voter to vote by mail, and that combined with the coronavirus pandemic has led to a massive surge in mail ballot requests, with 1.9 million Pennsylvania voters requesting them for next week’s election. Philadelphia alone has 225,000 requests this year — many more than the 107,000 absentee requests in the entire state in the 2016 primary.