Yukai Yang, 24, a former Lehigh student from China, pled guilty to attempted first degree murder. The incident was from 2018 in a Lehigh residence. (Jordan Wolman/B&W Staff)

Northampton County urges remaining mail-in ballots be dropped off as soon as possible

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The Northampton County Elections Office has approved 84,913 applications for mail-in ballots, and all ballots have been mailed as of Oct. 28, according to the county’s latest press release. Oct. 27 was the last day to apply for a mail-in ballot to vote in the General Election on Nov. 3. 

All ballots must be received by the Elections Office on Nov. 6 by 5 p.m. to be counted.

Northampton County, however, joined the top Pennsylvania election official in urging Pennsylvania residents to drop off their ballots if they have not yet mailed it in to their county’s elections office. To avoid postal delays, ballots can also be dropped off at one of Northampton County’s four official ballot drop-off boxes until Nov. 3.

“Election day is just five days away. Do not wait to return your mail ballot,” said Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar in a recent press release. “Deliver your ballot today and ensure your voice is heard in this upcoming election.”

The drop-off boxes are located at: 

 Rotunda of the Government Center – 669 Washington St., Easton, Pennsylvania, 18042

o  Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

 Human Services Building – 2801 Emrick Blvd. Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, 18020

o  Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Northampton County 911 Center – 100 Gracedale Ave. Nazareth, Pennsylvania, 18064

o  Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 

Bethlehem City Hall – 10 E. Church St., Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, 18018

o  Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Voters can only drop off their own ballot, unless the person dropping off the ballot is assisting a disabled or emergency absentee voter. 

There are over nine million registered voters in battleground Pennsylvania. In Northampton County, more than 227,000 residents are registered to vote — meaning around 37 percent of county voters applied for a mail-in ballot. Of the 227,000 registered Northampton County voters, 102,445 are registered Democrats and 81,358 are registered Republicans, according to the Pennsylvania State Department.

The county is a bellwether, having voted for President Barack Obama in 2012 before turning red in 2016 to support President Donald Trump.

Voters must follow the instructions included with their mail-in ballot to ensure that their votes are counted. The Elections Office reminds voters to only use blue or black ink and to sign and date the back of the return envelope before sending it in. 

Ballots must be enclosed in an inner blank secrecy envelope. Otherwise, they will be “naked” ballots and will be void. Secrecy envelopes must not have any stray markings, text, or symbols that reveal the identity of the elector or that voter’s political preference. 

Voters who applied for but did not receive their mail-in ballot by Nov. 3 should either cast a provisional ballot in-person at the polls or call the Elections Office at 610-829-6260 for assistance. 

Voters who applied for a mail-in ballot but would rather vote in-person at the polls must bring both their ballot and return envelope with them. Those who do not have their ballot and return envelope will only be able to cast a provisional ballot at the polls. 

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