Pennsylvanians now have option to apply online for absentee ballots


Pennsylvanians who won't be able to vote in person this fall will be able to apply online for absentee ballots for the first time.

The Wolf administration said Monday that, starting next week, voters can use the new site for absentee ballots in the November 5 election.

Applicants will need a PennDOT driver license or ID number, although that is expected to change next year. It will also be expanded in 2020 to military and oversees voters.

The online option will add convenience to an existing system that requires applicants to fill out paper forms and deliver them by hand or mail to county elections offices.

"Applying for an absentee ballot online will make the process faster and more accessible for thousands of voters," said Gov. Tom Wolf. "This builds on the option to register to vote online which Pennsylvania launched four years ago and it will provide an easier way for people to exercise their right to vote."

Critics have argued changes to Pennsylvania's comparatively strict absentee voting rules would make voting easier and more widespread.

Applications will be accepted starting Monday, September 16. This year's deadline to apply for an absentee ballot by paper or online is 5 p.m. Tuesday, October 29.