READING, Pa. – Berks County voters can breathe a sigh of relief. The county is speaking out to assure people voting by mail that their ballots for Pennsylvania's general election will make it back to be counted after concerns were raised that the mail-in ballots require extra postage.
"All the absentee and mail-in ballots on the systems we use are read now by optic scanners and, as such, the weight of the paper for those ballots is heavier than had been used in the past," said Ronald Seaman, Berks County's chief administrative officer.
Seaman says he found out mail-in and absentee ballots now require more than just a single standard stamp through confusion at local post offices.
"Some were returning them to the sender, others were processing them through to us and others were processing them through with postage due," he said.
Seaman says the county is now working with area postmasters to ensure everyone's ballots make it to the elections office.
"We instructed the post office here in Reading to contact all Berks County post offices and ask them not to return any postage-due absentee or mail-in ballots to the voter," Seaman said, "but to process them on to the county and the county would pay the additional postage that was required."
He also calls this a learning experience, assuring voters that return envelopes will be pre-postage paid in the future.
For now, if you're voting by mail, Seaman says you can either pay the extra postage or use a drop box which will be available starting Monday at the Berks County Agricultural Center and at the County Services Center.
"They can simply bring their ballot and deposit it in that drop box and not require any postage whatsoever," Seaman said.
The deadline to register to vote is Monday.