Application for Absentee Ballot

If you are unable to appear at your polling place to vote on election day, you may qualify for an absentee ballot.

Absentee Ballot Application Qualifications

  • You must be a registered voter, (unless you are a member of the Armed Forces or a hospitalized or bedridden veteran outside your county of residence) and:  
  • Unable to attend your polling place due to illness or physical disability; or 
  • Absent from your municipality of residence on the day of the election during the time the polls are open due to duties, occupation or business; or 
  • Not attending your polling place on the day of the election during the time the polls are open due to your observance of a religious holiday.

How to Apply for an Absentee Ballot

  • Complete and mail an application for a civilian absentee ballot - PDF Downloadable Form
  • Appear in person at the Bureau of Elections
  • Visit
  •  Voters may also hand deliver applications on behalf of other voters in the same way they may deliver an application to register to vote.

With your Absentee Ballot Application, you must also supply one of the following: 

  • Your Pennsylvania driver's license number; or
  • PennDOT photo ID number; or
  • The last four digits of your social security number.
  • If none of these are available, you must include a photocopy of another acceptable photo ID.                                                                                                          

Your absentee ballot application must be received by the Election Bureau by 5:00 pm
on the Tuesday before the Primary or General Election

Receiving your Absentee Ballot

After your application is processed and approved by the Election Bureau, your ballot will be mailed to the delivery address you provided on your application once ballots are printed and available.  

If ballots are printed and available at the Bureau, you may also appear in person to apply and receive your absentee ballot immediately. This process only takes a few minutes. Please contact the Bureau first to ensure ballots are available.

Returning your Voted Absentee Ballot

All voted absentee ballots must be sent by mail (regular, express or overnight) or delivered in person by the absentee ballot voter. Voted absentee ballots returned by any other means will not be accepted or counted by the Elections Division. 

On the day of the deadline, voters also have the option of placing the proper postage upon the voted absentee ballot and giving it to the postal worker at the public counter of the main branch of the post office on South Main Street, Wilkes-Barre. The postal worker will hand cancel the postage and hold it for a representative of the Bureau of Elections who will collect those voted absentee ballots for processing at 5 p.m.


Your voted absentee ballot must be received by the Election Bureau by 5:00 pm
on the Friday before the Primary or General Election


There are exceptions for Military and Civilians Residing Overseas, and emergency absentee electors, as defined by law.

For more information on absentee ballots, visit the VotesPA Resource Center or contact the Bureau at 570-825-1715