Press Release: County Makes Voting Easy for Military and Overseas Voters

LANCASTER, PA (September 30, 2009) Effective immediately, the Lancaster County Board of Elections will accept email absentee ballot applications from military and overseas voters. Once received, the Lancaster County Board of Elections will e-mail a “special write-in absentee ballot” to all military and overseas voters who request an absentee ballot.

“We are extremely pleased to offer this service to the men and women from Lancaster County who are serving to protect our great Country,” said Commissioner Scott Martin, Chairman of the Lancaster County Board of Elections.  “It is critical that these soldiers, who battle everyday to ensure that we as Citizens of the United States have the right to select who will govern us, also have the opportunity to cast their vote.”

All registered voters in Lancaster County, who are active duty members of the Armed Forces, Merchant Marines, Public Health Services, NOAA and their family members who are also registered voters, along with all U.S. Citizens residing outside the United States and who are registered to vote, may vote absentee ballot and may request that an absentee ballot be emailed to them.

“There are several ways in which military and overseas voters, who are registered to vote in Lancaster County, can request that an absentee ballot be emailed to them by the Lancaster County Board of Elections,” said Commissioner Lehman, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Elections.  “We expect that all qualifying voters will be able to easily utilize one of these options.”

To request an absentee ballot, a military or overseas voter should download and complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) form, found at www.fvap.gov.  Once completed, the application may be scanned and emailed to the Lancaster County Board of Elections at [email protected].  The voter should include their email address on the application to have the absentee ballot emailed to them.

If an FPCA form is not available, a military or overseas voter may choose to email the Lancaster County Board of Elections at [email protected] to request an absentee ballot. The email request should include the following information:  (1) Name of voter, (2) Address the voter is registered at in Lancaster County, (3) Date of birth, (4) Political party affiliation, (5) Explanation of why the voter is unable to vote at their local polling place on Election Day.

A military or overseas voter may also choose to complete an Application for Absentee Ballot, which can be found on the County of Lancaster’s main website at www.co.lancaster.pa.us.  Once completed, this application should be scanned and emailed to [email protected].

Regardless of which email request option one chooses, the voter must also send a hard copy of the request with their original signature to the Lancaster County Board of Elections at 150 North Queen Street, Suite 102, Lancaster, PA 17603.

When the military or overseas voter’s e-mail request is received by the Lancaster County Board of Elections, the request is processed immediately and an absentee ballot is emailed to the appropriate address within 24 to 48 hours. Once the ballot is completed, the voter must follow Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) procedures to cast their vote via absentee ballot.  FVAP voting instructions for Absentee Voting for Overseas Citizens or Absentee Voting for Uniformed Services/Family Members can be obtained at www.fvap.gov.

“The Board of Elections is committed to ensuring all voters, registered in Lancaster County, are able to easily fulfill their Constitutional Right to vote – especially our military men and women,” stated Commissioner Stuckey.  “We will continue to seek out new and alternative methods to make certain voting is easy, efficient, and secure in Lancaster County.”

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Updated: October 2, 2009 — 7:24 am