INFORMATION FOR VOTERS IN PENNSYLVANIA

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DATES AND DEADLINES

  • Tuesday, November 3, 2020: General Election Day   
  • Monday, October 19, 2020: Last day to register to vote   
  • Tuesday, October 27, 2020, at 5 p.m: Last day to request an absentee or mail-in ballot 
  • Tuesday, November 3, 2020: Completed mail-in ballots must be postmarked by Election Day and received by your county election office no later than Friday, November 6, at 5 p.m. (updated 9/17/2020)  

Register

Apply for a mail-in or absentee ballot

Find your polling place at


NEED HELP? CALL THE ELECTION PROTECTION HOTLINE

To get the most up-to-date information about the election, answers to questions about your polling location, get help with any voting-related issue, or report a problem on Election Day, you can call one of these nonpartisan voter hotlines.

  • English: 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
  • Español and English: 888-VE-Y-VOTA (888-839-8682) NALEO Educational Fund
  •  (عربى Arabic and English: 844-YALLA-US (844-925-5287) Arab American Institute (AAI)
  • Mandarin (普通話), Cantonese (廣東話; 話), Korean (한국어), Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt), Tagalog, Urdu, Hindi, Bengali and English - 888-API-VOTE (888-274-8683) APIAVote & Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC)

You can also call the state’s election’s bureau for help, including how to find your city or county’s election office: 1-877-VOTESPA (877-868-3772)
 

VOTING WITH A CRIMINAL CONVICTION

In Pennsylvania, a criminal conviction does not stop you from voting. You can vote if:

  • You are on probation or parole.
  • You are living in a halfway house. (Must vote with an absentee ballot and cannot use the address of the halfway house as your registration address. Must use previous or future address.)
  • You are in jail awaiting trial. (Must vote with an absentee ballot.)
  • You are currently incarcerated for a misdemeanor conviction. (Must vote with an absentee ballot.)
  • You are under house arrest. (Must vote with an absentee ballot)

Apply for an absentee ballot

Learn more about voting with a criminal conviction.
VOTING WITH A CRIMINAL CONVICTION


VOTING IN THE NOVEMBER GENERAL ELECTION

You have the option to vote in person or to vote-by-mail. If you decide to vote in person, be sure to check your polling location before you vote. If you are concerned about voting by mail, know that it is safe. There are checks in place that can prevent your vote from not being counted. If you suspect your ballot is lost in the mail, or if you lose it in the house, you can call your county election office and request a replacement. Google your county’s election office or call 877-VOTESPA to be connected. To learn more about each option, take a look at our FAQ section below.

Find your polling place

Apply to vote-by-mail

 

New voter?

If you are a first-time voter, the first step is to register before the voting registration deadline on Monday, October 19. 
Register

Moved since you last voted?

It is important that you are registered at your current address so you can get the correct ballot, especially if you plan to vote by mail. The deadline is Monday, October 19.
Update your registration (address, name, or party)

If you want to register in person, or on paper, call 877-VOTESPA (877-868-3772) for help.
 

ABOUT THE GENERAL ELECTION

On November 3rd, you and voters across Pennsylvania will elect leaders to represent us. Most of us are familiar with the role of the President, but this Election Day we will also be choosing U.S. Representatives, State Representatives, State Senators, an Auditor General, an Attorney General, and a State Treasurer.

Learn more about the candidates running for office here:
vote411.org/ballot

*COVID-19 has placed us in uncertain times. Some election details are subject to change. Continue to check this page and/or votespa.com for the latest information. This guide to voting in Pennsylvania is not legal advice. If you have questions about your eligibility or rights, please call 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) or consult a lawyer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Who is eligible to vote in Pennsylvania

Q.Who is eligible to vote in Pennsylvania
A.

You can register and vote if you are a citizen of the United States, 18 years old or older by Election Day, and a resident of Pennsylvania. Everyone who is eligible has a right to vote and should participate, especially women and people of color.

2. Who is not eligible to vote in Pennsylvania?

Q.Who is not eligible to vote in Pennsylvania?
A.

People who are in prison or jail because of a felony conviction and will not be released before the election and people who have been convicted of violating Pennsylvania election laws within the past four years cannot vote in Pennsylvania.

3. Can I register and vote if I have a criminal record?

Q.Can I register and vote if I have a criminal record?
A.

Yes. You can vote as long as you are not currently incarcerated for a felony. You can vote if you are on probation or parole, are under house arrest, or are serving time for a misdemeanor conviction. For more information, click here to visit our page about voting with a criminal conviction in PA.

4. I recently registered to vote. How do I make sure I am really registered?

Q.I recently registered to vote. How do I make sure I am really registered?
A.

It takes a few days for the county election office to review your registration form and add you to the list. You can check your registration status at votespa.com.

If you get a notice that your registration has been rejected, or you have a question, call 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) for assistance.

5. I am a registered voter, but I recently moved. Am I still registered to vote?

Q.I am a registered voter, but I recently moved. Am I still registered to vote?
A.

Yes. Update your address, if you want to vote close to your new home, or if you want to vote by mail. You can change your address at votespa.com.
You may also go back to your old polling place and vote there. If you moved from out-of-state, you need to register to vote in Pennsylvania.

6. What are my voting options during the pandemic?

Q.What are my voting options during the pandemic?
A.

You can vote in person. Check your polling place ahead of time at votespa.com.
You can vote by mail-in or absentee ballot. The deadline to apply for a mail-in ballot is October 27, 2020. To avoid delays, we recommend applying as early as possible for your ballot and that you mail your ballot back immediately once complete. Visit votespa.com for more information.

7. What if I'm transgender?

Q.What if I'm transgender?
A.

Being transgender could mean that you have an ID that doesn't match your gender identity or presentation, but this should not affect your right to vote in Pennsylvania. Still, if you are trans you should be aware of your rights in case you run into bias or misunderstandings of the law when it comes to gender identity. Knowing your rights can help avoid or solve problems at the polls.

Only voters who are voting for the first time in their election district need to show ID. Acceptable ID includes both photo and nonphoto ID. If you have an ID that does not match your gender identity, you can use a non-photo form of ID that has your address on it. 

Acceptable forms of non-photo ID include: voter registration card, non-photo ID issued by the commonwealth, non-photo ID issued by the U.S. government, firearm permit, current utility bill, current bank statement, current paycheck, or government check.

If you are not voting for the first time, but you're worried about being questioned, you can bring a non-photo form of ID just in case. Call the election protection hotline if you experience problems: 866-OUR-VOTE.

8. I was born in Puerto Rico. Can I vote in Pennsylvania?

Q.I was born in Puerto Rico. Can I vote in Pennsylvania?
A.

If you were born in Puerto Rico, you are automatically a U.S. citizen and are able to register to vote in Pennsylvania (or the state where you live).

9. Is voting as a non-citizen a crime?

Q.Is voting as a non-citizen a crime?
A.

Voting or even registering to vote when you are not a U.,S. citizen is a crime and can prevent you from becoming a citizen.

10. When will I get my ballot?

Q.When will I get my ballot?
A.

Counties can now start sending out ballots, but they are not legally obligated to do so until October 13. If it doesn’t arrive, or you lose it or make a mistake while you are marking the ballot, call your county election office for a replacement.

You can track your ballot at https://www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/pages/ballottracking.aspx

11. What do I do if my request for a mail-in ballot is denied?

Q.What do I do if my request for a mail-in ballot is denied?
A.

If you get a notice that your request was denied, call 866-OUR-VOTE to get free assistance from a lawyer.

12. What's a naked ballot?

Q.What's a naked ballot?
A.

Ballots that are submitted without the secrecy envelope are called “naked” ballots. Pennsylvania will not count “naked” mail-in ballots, so be sure to seal your completed ballot inside the blank secrecy envelope before sealing it in the mailing envelope.

13. Can someone else drop off my mail ballot for me?

Q.Can someone else drop off my mail ballot for me?
A.

You must return your own ballot. If you have a disability you can designate someone else to return your ballot for you.

14. Can I change my mind about voting by mail after I’ve applied?

Q.Can I change my mind about voting by mail after I’ve applied?
A.

Yes. Bring your ballot and the return envelope to your polling place on Election Day. Poll workers will cancel it, and you can vote in person. If you don’t have your ballot, you will have to vote on a provisional ballot. (You must bring the entire mail-in ballot package, including the envelope with your name on it.)

15. Will my vote really be counted if I vote by mail?

Q.Will my vote really be counted if I vote by mail?
A.

Voting by mail is safe. There are checks in place that can prevent your vote from not being counted. If you suspect it is lost in the mail, or if you lose it in the house, you can call your county election office and request a replacement. Google your county’s election office, or call 877-VOTESPA  (877-868-3772) to be connected.

16. How do I make sure my mail-in ballot counts

Q.How do I make sure my mail-in ballot counts
A.
  1. When you get your ballot in the mail, it will include three pieces: A secrecy envelope that you should seal your ballot in, and a pre-addressed envelope in which you send the security envelope to your county’s board of elections, and the ballot itself. Make sure not to damage any of these pieces when you open your ballot. 
  2. Complete your ballot with a black pen. Make sure there are no additional markings on the ballot itself or on either of the envelopes included with your ballot. If you have young children, make sure to keep your ballot out of their reach.
  3. Ballots that are submitted without the secrecy envelope are called “naked” ballots. Pennsylvania will not count “naked” mail-in ballots, so be sure to seal your signed and completed ballot inside the secrecy envelope before sealing the secrecy envelope in the mailing envelope. 
  4. Don’t forget to sign and date the Voter Declaration on the mailing envelope.
  5. If you make a mistake on your ballot, you can call your county board of elections and request a new one. 
  6. You can drop your ballot in a mailbox or ballot dropbox, but probably the most secure way to submit your mail-in ballot is by personally delivering the ballot to your county’s board of elections office. Note that you may only deliver your own ballot and you should make sure you have ID with you, just in case. You can track your ballot at www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/Pages/voterregistrationstatus.aspx.

17. If I want to vote in person, where do I go to vote?

Q.If I want to vote in person, where do I go to vote?
A.

You can find your polling place at www.votesPA.com or by calling 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) or call your county election office.

18. Do I need a photo ID to vote in person?

Q.Do I need a photo ID to vote in person?
A.

No. Only voters who are voting for the first time in their election district need to show ID.  You can use a photo ID, including an employee or student ID if you have one. You can also use a non-photo ID, like a utility bill or bank statement that has your address. You should not be asked for your ID if you have voted before in the election district.

Acceptable forms of non-photo ID: voter registration card, non-photo ID issued by the commonwealth, non-photo ID issued by the U.S. government, firearm permit, current utility bill, current bank statement, current paycheck, or government check.

Acceptable forms of photo ID: Pennsylvania driver’s license or PennDOT ID card, ID issued by any Commonwealth agency, ID issued by the U.S. Government, U.S. passport, U.S. Armed Forces ID, Student ID, and Employee ID.

19. What if the poll worker tells me I am not on the list of voters?

Q.What if the poll worker tells me I am not on the list of voters?
A.

First, ask the election official to check the list again or to look at the supplemental poll book (a list of recent changes to the voting rolls). Offer to spell your name. If you believe you’re at the right polling place but your name isn’t on the voter list, ask for a provisional ballot. They are required to give you one.

20. What is a provisional ballot?

Q.What is a provisional ballot?
A.

A provisional ballot is used to record your vote when there’s a question about your eligibility to vote. If you request a mail-in ballot but do not receive it, you have to vote provisionally at your polling place. Your provisional ballot will be counted if election officials determine that you were eligible to vote.

21. Can my right to vote be challenged at the poll?

Q.Can my right to vote be challenged at the poll?
A.

Yes, but only for certain reasons and by certain people. An election official, poll watcher, or another voter may only challenge a voter if they think the voter does not live in the precinct or is not the person the voter says they are.