By Brian X. McCrone
With some 10,000 absentee ballot applications still expected in Montgomery County, officials announced expanded hours at its Voter Services offices.
More than 20,000 applications for absentee ballots in next month's presidential election have already been received by Montgomery County, which has expected about 30,000 before the Nov. 1 deadline to apply. In 2012, the county received 25,462 applications, of which 20,970 were used.
"To meet this unprecedented demand, the office of Voter Services will be expanding hours for walk-in hours," the county said in a statement.
The expanded hours are:
- 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Saturday
- 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday
- 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday (which is the deadline for absentee ballot applications)
County Commissioner Val Arkoosh said Oct. 20 that the Voter Services Department is working full-steam to make sure every application is processed in a time frame that gives those voters who meet the criteria to vote via absentee ballot can do so before the submission deadline of Nov. 4.
The backlog of applications from the sheer volume -- and a hold up in finalizing the official ballot because of a state referendum's wording on judges' ages -- has caused some delay in approvals from the county, but Arkoosh said officials expected no voters who provided reasonable excuses for applying would have a problem receiving their ballot.
Under state law, applicants for absentee ballots have to have a reasonable excuse for not being able to make it to the polling place where they are registered to vote on Election Day, Nov. 8.
To submit an application for an absentee ballot, a voter can go to the county Board of Elections and fill out a form in person or mail an application to the county.