CONFUSED ABOUT THOSE ABSENTEE BALLOTS? LOCAL RULES ARE SET

Wilkes-Barre, Times Leader

By TERRIE MORGAN-BESECKER

Saturday, October 30, 2004     Page: 1A

WILKES-BARRE – Luzerne County Bureau of Elections Director Leonard Piazza outlined the rules for absentee ballots in light of a court ruling extending the deadline for receipt of the ballots until 8 p.m. on Election Day.

All ballots must be mailed in or presented in person to the election bureau, located at 20 N. Pennsylvania Ave., Suite 207, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701.

Ballots that are delivered in person:

Must be received by the election bureau by 8 p.m. sharp on Tuesday, Nov. 2.

Must be presented by the voter. No ballot will be accepted from a third party on behalf of the voter.

Must be signed by voter, attesting that the voter could not be present in his or her precinct to vote on Election Day.

Ballots that are mailed:

If mailed prior to Election Day it will be handled in the normal manner and delivered to the election bureau in accordance with normal mail delivery schedule.

If mailed on Election Day, the ballot must be taken to the customer service window at the Wilkes-Barre post office, 300 S. Main St., by 6 p.m., when the customer service window closes. The post office will time stamp the ballots, which will be picked up by Piazza and delivered to the election bureau that night.

Piazza stressed the ballots can only be taken to the Wilkes-Barre post office, and not the post office in a voter’s hometown. This is to ensure there is documentation of the time they were received.

Only ballots received by Nov. 2 will be counted. Those postmarked Nov. 2, but received after that date will be invalid.

The above rules apply to non-military ballots only. Gov. Ed Rendell on Friday announced the deadline for receipt of military and overseas ballots has been extended until 5 p.m. on Nov. 10, pending final court approval of an agreement reached to resolve a federal lawsuit filed by two voters.

For questions, contact the bureau of elections at 825-1715.

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