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2024 Primary : New Vote-By-Mail Materials

The Philadelphia City Commissioners have updated mail ballot materials, giving voters clearer instructions, and helping to ensure every legal vote is counted. This overhaul, championed by the Pennsylvania Department of State, is intended to reduce voter errors, and vote-by-mail confusion statewide. The City Commissioners have expanded and improved those materials further, to better meet the needs of Philadelphia voters.

The updated envelopes and instructions, rolling out ahead of the 2024 Presidential Primary on April 23rd, are designed to remedy the most common reasons a mail ballot may be rejected – missing signatures, missing and incorrect dates, and failure to properly use the required Secrecy Envelope. These improvements aim to streamline the voting process, reduce the risk of flawed ballots, and increase overall confidence in voting by mail.


New Mail Ballot Material Features –

Outgoing Envelope:

  • Bright blue color with high contrast, bold “Official Ballot” header text on front and back for easy identification.
  • Trilingual instructions on both sides regarding ballot return options and deadline.
  • Clear windows on front and back, used to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the ballot mailing process.

Return Envelope, Back:

front-back front-back
  • Yellow outlines highlighting required declaration fields the voter must complete.
  • A pre-filled “20” at the beginning of the year, to alert voters to write the current date, rather than their birthdate.
  • Hole punch located directly above the signature box, to assist visually impaired voters in locating the required signature and date fields.

Secrecy Envelope:

front-back front-back
  • Easily identifiable yellow color.
  • Watermarking all over, to discourage stray marks which could potentially result in the ballot being rejected.
  • High visibility to confirm presence through hole punch located on return envelope.


front-back front-back
  • Full-page sheet with color graphics, walking voters through each step of ballot completion and envelope packing.
  • Larger text with more in-depth, detailed instructions.
  • Bilingual English / Spanish, or English / Traditional Chinese to meet language access needs of Philadelphia voters.

Voting by mail is easy, safe, and secure.
You can apply for a mail ballot online, in person, or by mail:

Return your ballot to a Satellite Election Office, an official ballot drop box, or through the mail. Ballots must be received no later than 8:00 pm on Election Day.

For more information, and alternate language applications, you can visit the Vote By Mail page of

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