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Voter Guide: Everything you need to know about registering and voting in Pennsylvania

From deadlines to explaining how mail ballots work, here's the latest information about the upcoming November 2020 presidential election.
Credit: WNEP

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, and we've put together a guide with everything you need to know before you head to the polls.

As always, Newswatch 16 is your go-to source for election information, so be sure to bookmark this story, as it will be updated with voter resources and other election stories as we get closer to Election Day.

Looking for election results? They'll be here after the polls close on Nov 3.

Key Dates:

October 19, 2020 - Last day to REGISTER before November Election

October 27, 2020 - Last day to apply for a mail-in or absentee ballot

November 3, 2020 – Last day for mail-in and absentee ballots to be received by County Boards of Elections.

November 3, 2020 – ELECTION DAY Polls open 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Am I registered to vote?

If it's been a while since you've voted and you're unsure about your registration status, you can check your status on the PA Voter Services website.

What do I need in order to register to vote?

  • Make sure you are registered using your current name at your current address.
  • To register to vote in Pennsylvania you must:
    • Be a citizen of the United States for at least one month before the next election.
    • Be a resident of Pennsylvania and the election district in which you want to register and vote for at least 30 days before the next election.
    • Be at least 18 years of age on or before the day of the next election.
  • Learn about all of the different ways to register to vote

Can I register to vote online?

Yes. To use the Online Voter Registration System, you must have a valid driver’s license or ID card issued by the PA Department of Transportation or the last four digits of your Social Security Number.

What are mail-in ballots?

If you aren’t an absentee voter, you may apply for a mail-in ballot. You may simply request this ballot without a reason.

Learn more about Mail-in Ballots

What are absentee ballots?

If you plan to be out of the municipality on election day or if you have a disability or illness, you should request this ballot type, which still requires you to list a reason for your ballot.

Learn more about Absentee Ballots

What are the deadlines for mail-in and absentee ballots?

  • 5 p.m. October 27- APPLICATIONS must be RECEIVED by your county election office
  • 8 p.m. November 3 - VOTED BALLOTS must be RECEIVED by your county election office - postmarks are not enough

Applications and ballots may be delivered to your county election office by the deadline. Contact your county election office for their hours of operation.

Can I vote in-person using an absentee or mail-in ballot?

If you are registered to vote, you can vote in person before election day at your county election office using an absentee or mail-in ballot. 

When you submit your absentee or mail-in ballot application in person, as long as the ballots are ready, you can receive your ballot at the same time. While you are there, you can complete and return the ballot. Ballots are usually ready 3 - 5 weeks before the election. Contact your county election office for more information.

Where is my polling place?

If you have lost your precinct card, don't remember where your precinct is located, or your precinct has changed since the last time you voted, CLICK HERE to find your polling place.

Need more information?

Text the keyword VOTE to (800) 533-6397 or visit VotesPA.org.

Before You Leave, Check This Out