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Did you cast a mail ballot for the May primary election? Check the below list of names to make sure there isn’t a problem with what you sent in. If there is, you have a chance to fix it and make sure your vote counts.
The Office of City Commissioners released a list of nearly 1,400 Philly voters whose mail ballots were received with errors. The issues include:
- No signature on the exterior envelope
- No date on the exterior envelope
- Potentially incorrect date on the envelope
- No secrecy envelope (aka a “naked ballot”)
No, elections officials haven’t yet started counting the votes in the mail ballots — they’re not allowed to do that until the polls open at 7 a.m. on May 16, per Pennsylvania law.
But Philadelphia has machines that sort the sealed ballots in advance, separating them into groups by zip code. The machines can tell if a secrecy envelope is missing just by the weight of the whole mail ballot package, and administrative staff can tell by looking at the outer envelope if the date or signature isn’t there.
Especially in a race as close as this Democratic mayoral primary, every vote could make a huge difference. Over 95k mail ballots were requested for this election in Philadelphia, and as of Sunday, 51% had been returned, per Dept. of State data.
The most common error in returned ballots was a missing date: more than 1,100 voters didn’t write one on the back of their outer envelope. Another 50 or so put down a potentially incorrect date, while nearly 75 people never signed it. Around 140 voters skipped the inner secrecy envelope.
Anyone on the lists below can still get a replacement ballot at the County Board of Elections office in City Hall Room 140. The office will be open Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Tuesday (Election Day) from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Just like mail ballots that were received at voters’ addresses in recent weeks, these replacements can be dropped off at one of the secure locations throughout the city, or returned right there at City Hall.
If you or someone you know is on the list but can’t get to the City Hall office in time due to a disability, they can authorize a designated agent to pick up and/or return their completed ballot.
If you’re on the list but aren’t able to get a replacement using the instructions above, you can request a provisional ballot at your polling place on Election Day. Provisional ballots are the last to be counted.
Below is the list of ballots with errors, which is searchable by name.