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Redesigned mail ballot materials to roll out next election

Redesigned mail ballot materials will be rolled out in the 2024 primary election, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State.

The redesigned envelopes and instruction sheets have revised language with the intent to better inform voters how to properly fill out and return their mail-in ballots. The redesign is meant to decrease voter confusion that can lead to completed ballots being rejected and assist county election workers in efficiently processing mail-in ballots, according to a news release from the department of state.

Redesigned features include more easily identifiable secrecy envelopes on a yellow background with watermarking to discourage stray marks, full-page instructions with new graphics and colorized outer return envelopes to help post office employees identify and deliver ballots mailed close to election day.

Counties will also have discretion to implement the use of a hole punch in the return envelope to help county election workers identify when an inner secrecy envelope is missing.

In the 2023 primary, counties rejected about 17,000 mail ballots, which is about 2.8% of the 597,000 mail-in and absentee ballots cast. Approximately 21,800 mail ballots were rejected in the 2020 general election and approximately 23,700 mail ballots were rejected in the 2022 general election.

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