Drop off mail-in ballots to avoid mail delays, says state department

Written by on October 6, 2021

Drop off mail-in ballots to avoid mail delays, says state department

By Megan Frank

October 6, 2021

Photo | Yong Kim / Philadelphia Inquirer via Spotlight PA

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Department of State says voters who requested a mail-in ballot should consider turning it in sooner rather than later. 

Listen to the story.

That’s because of widespread postal service delays

Acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid says all ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 2, regardless of mail delays. That’s why she says voters should consider dropping off mail-in ballots at their county elections office or drop box locations.

“Because of potential mail delays, certainly, if voters want to hand-deliver those ballots, or submit them to the drop-off locations, we would encourage that,” Degraffenreid said. 

She says over 875,000 Pennsylvania voters have already requested mail-in ballots. The deadline to apply for one is Oct. 26, which is a tight turnaround for mail delivery. 

“If a voter has their ballot and it’s, you know, getting really close, we would highly encourage them, certainly within that last week, to take the ballot in person,” Degraffenreid said. 

If a voter opts not to mail their mail-in ballot, Degraffenreid said it can be surrendered or given back on Election Day at a voter’s polling location. Once the mail-in ballot is surrendered, the voter will be allowed to vote in person instead.

Each ballot has a unique barcode on it that corresponds to each voter. If a voter is not sure about the status of their mail-in ballot, they can check its status here: vote.pa.gov.

The state department provides a list of ballot drop off locations on its website. Here’s a list of Lehigh Valley ballot dropoff locations:


Lehigh County Government Center

17 S. 7th St.



  • 24 Hour drop box access for deposit located outside the main entrance
  • Deadline for drop off at this location is 8 p.m. on Election Day.

North Whitehall Township Building

3256 Levans Road



7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday – Friday 

Lehigh County Authority (LCA) Lobby

1053 Spruce Road



8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday – Friday   

Fountain Hill Borough Building

941 Long St.

Fountain Hill


8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday  

Emmaus Borough Office

28 S. 4th St.



8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday – Friday 


Rotunda of the Government Center

669 Washington St.

8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday – Friday

  • Voters can park for free in the loading and unloading zone in front of the courthouse or use the new parking lot at Wolf Avenue and Washington Street

Human Services Building

2801 Emrick Blvd. 

Bethlehem Township

8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday – Friday

Northampton County 911 Center

100 Gracedale Ave. 

Upper Nazareth Township

8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday – Friday 

Bethlehem City Hall

10 E. Church St.


8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday – Friday

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