The Pennsylvania primary is April 24, but for those who can't get to a polling place or know they will be out of town there are absentee ballots. The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is April 17, only a few days before the ballot has to be sent back to the county.
"Voting by absentee ballot is a two-step process, you must apply first then our office will verify that you are a registered voter, then we will issue the ballot," said Mark Wolosik, Allegheny County elections director.
Absentee ballots are available to registered voters who won't be in their municipality for the primary election, or who are unable to get to the polls because of disability or illness. While voter turnout isn't expected to be huge, Wolosik said people who want their votes counted but won't be voting in person need to act sooner rather than later.
"This primary we'll probably end up with anywhere from 5,000 to 6,000 applicants. You can contrast it with four years ago, the same type of election where we had 15,000 applications. It runs the gamut from anywhere from 5,000 to 40,000 people voting by absentee," said Wolosik.
Registered voters can apply for an absentee ballot through the county's website, or can do so in person at the County Office Building. If going that route, Wolosik said a voter can apply, get the ballot and vote right there in the office. All absentee ballots have to be returned to the county by Friday April 20in order to be counted.