Mail-in and absentee ballot applications have begun going out to county voters who requested to be placed on the permanent mail-in or absentee ballot list. Act 77 of 2019 provides that individuals on the list shall receive an application by the first Monday in February each year so they may apply to receive mail-in or absentee ballots again for that calendar year. All approximately 300,000 mailings will be out by Friday, Feb. 3.

The permanent status, as defined in Act 77, has proven confusing for voters. It does not mean voters will automatically get their mail-in or absentee ballot each year. Instead, voters only receive an application.

Voters who wish to receive a mail-in or absentee ballot for 2023 elections must complete and return the application prior to the application deadline. The application contained in the mailing applies to all elections in the calendar year.

Voters who wish to apply for a mail-in or absentee ballot for a specific election should complete and return the online application or a paper copy of the application and should leave item #7 on the ballot unchecked. If they apply on the permanent mailing application and later change their mind, they must cancel that status by completing and returning the Request to Cancel Permanent Absentee or Mail-In Status form available on the Elections resources webpage at Voters who wish to vote in person at their polling place do not need to do anything.

Voters who want to be removed from the permanent mailing list may also complete and return the Request to Cancel Permanent Absentee or Mail-In Status form available on the Elections resources webpage. They may also check the box on the permanent mailing indicating that they no longer wish to receive the notice and application. That letter can then be returned to the Allegheny County Elections Division, and the voter will be removed from the permanent list. The mailing contains a letter with instructions and a hard copy of the application. Voters can choose to complete and return the paper application or can scan a QR code on the letter, which will take them to an online application. As noted above, there is also an option for voters to indicate they wish to be removed from the permanent list. To vote by mail in the future, voters would have to complete an application. Nothing will be sent to them.

As a reminder, residents are encouraged to pay particular attention to deadlines for these applications:

The last day to apply for an absentee or mail-in ballot for the May 16, 2023, Primary Election is Tuesday, May 9, 2023 – The Elections Office closes at 5 p.m.

Pennsylvania is a closed primary state. Only those registered in a party may vote in the primary election, unless there is a referendum question or related item on the ballot for which all voters are eligible to vote.

For more information on 2023 Elections, visit the main elections website at