READING, Pa. - With only a few days to go until the Nov. 3 general election, Berks County voters who have yet to submit their mail-in ballot are being advised to skip the post office.
Commissioner Kevin S. Barnhardt, chair of the county's elections board, on Thursday urged anyone who received a mail-in ballot to now make use of one of two drop boxes and not depend on the mail to get their ballot to the election office in time to be counted.
The two drop boxes are located at the Berks County Agricultural Center, 1238 County Welfare Road, Bern Township, and in the first-floor lobby of the Berks County Services Center on Reed Street in downtown Reading.
Although the drop box locations will be closed Saturday and Sunday, Barnhardt said the Monday hours will be from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Barnhardt reported the county received a total of 82,967 requests for mail-in ballots and, as of Thursday morning, has received 55,989 returned ballots.
There are currently 272,292 registered voters in Berks County, with 118,400 identified as Democrat and 110,430 identified as Republican.
Although the mail-in ballots can't be opened until Tuesday morning, Barnhardt said he expects the majority of those received to be scanned by Tuesday evening.
Barnhardt, however, warned about any early result projections, because the law requires that mail-in ballots not be uploaded to the data system until the polls close on Tuesday night.