Know Your Rights

Deadlines

When is the last day I can register to vote before the November Election?

 

October 19, 2020 at 5:00 PM. 

When is the last day I can apply for a mail-in ballot?

October 27, 2020 at 5:00 PM. 

Voting by Mail

Who can vote by mail?

 

All Pennsylvania voters can vote with a mail-in ballot. This is a change from previous elections, when only certain voters could request an absentee ballot.

What is the difference between "mail-in" and "absentee" ballots?

Pennsylvanians now have two options to vote by mail.

  • Mail-in ballot – Any voter may vote with a mail-in ballot. You must request your ballot, but you do not need to provide a reason.
     

  • Absentee ballot – This ballot is for voters who will be away from home on Election Day, or voters with a disability or illness. To request an absentee ballot, you must provide a reason you are unable to vote in person.
     

If you are not sure what type of ballot to request, you should request a mail-in ballot.

How do I request a mail-in ballot?

It's easy to apply for a mail-in ballot, and it's free! Here are your options:

  1. Online – If you have a valid Pennsylvania driver's license or another photo I.D. from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, you can apply online.
     

  2. By Mail – If you don't have a current photo I.D. from the Pennsylvania DOT, you can print an application and mail it in to your county election office. The application is available in English and Spanish.

Do I qualify for an absentee ballot?

All voters can request a mail-in ballot.

Absentee ballots are a separate service of the Pennsylvania Department of State. If you plan to be out of the municipality on Election Day or if you have a disability or illness, you can apply to vote by an absentee ballot.

Registered voters who may vote absentee include:

  • College Students

  • People whose work or vacation take them away from the Municipality where they live

  • Those with a physical disability or illness that prevents them from going to the polling place

  • Members of the military

  • People who may have a conflict due to the celebration of a religious holiday​

 

The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is the Tuesday before Election Day.

Do I need to buy a stamp?

No! All mail-in and absentee ballots will include pre-paid postage! You just need to seal your ballot in the provided envelope and drop it in the mail!

Voting in Person

When are the polls open on Election Day?

 

On Election Day, the polls will open at 7 A.M. and close at 8 P.M. If you are still in line when the polls close, do not leave! You have the right to vote as long as you get in line before 8:00 P.M.!

Do I need any identification to vote?

If you have voted at your polling place before, you DO NOT need to bring an ID to vote.

 

But, voters who are voting in person for the first time in their election district DO need to show ID.

 

Acceptable forms of ID include both photo and non-photo ID, including:

  • Driver’s license

  • U.S. passport

  • Military, student, or employee ID

  • Voter registration card

  • Firearm permit

  • Current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or government check

  • Any ID issued by the commonwealth or federal government

 

Note: Any ID without your photo must have your address on it.

What if my name isn't in the poll book?

The local officials at your polling place should call the county Board of Elections to determine if you are registered. If you are, you should be able to vote. If the county cannot find your name, but you believe you are registered and omitted from the poll book, you may vote by a provisional ballot.

What is a provisional ballot?

Sometimes the County Elections Office needs more time to determine a voter's eligibility to vote. In that case, a poll worker may ask that you vote with a provisional ballot.

 

A provisional ballot records your vote, while the County Election Office determines whether it can be counted. A provisional ballot is a paper ballot which is provided to voters who believe they are registered voters but whose names do not appear in the sign-in book at the polling place. If you are a first-time voter who does not provide ID at the polls on Election Day, you will be offered a provisional ballot.

 

Within 7 days after the election, the County Election Office will decide whether you were eligible to vote at the election district where you voted the provisional ballot. If you are eligible, they will count your provisional ballot.

Will there be available support for people living with disabilities?

Voters over 65 and voters with a disability may get help voting. The person may not be your employer or union representative or the judge of elections.

 

Voters with disabilities can also bring assistive devices. Some devices are plugged into the ballot marking device to help make it easier for them to vote.

Election day is Tuesday, November 3rd. Take the voter pledge now →

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