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Voting at a Polling Place

Polling places will be open in every PA county on election day, November 3, 2020, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Counties must finalize their polling place locations by 20 days before the election. They are required to notify voters of polling place changes and may do so in a variety of ways. Contact your county election office if you have questions.


Where is my polling place?

You can find your polling place using the Department of State's online lookup tool.


What can I expect at the polling place?

When you arrive at the polling place, you will check in with the poll workers. Follow their instructions, as the check-in process may have changed.

If you are eligible to vote a regular ballot, you will either hand mark a paper ballot or vote using a ballot marking device. All Pennsylvania voting systems have been updated since 2018, and the voting systems are different from one county to another. Learn about your county's voting system.

If you are not eligible to vote a regular ballot, you may be provided a provisional ballot. Learn about provisional ballots.


What if I requested a mail-in or absentee ballot?

  • If you already submitted a mail-in or absentee ballot, you cannot vote at your polling place on election day.
  • If you did not return your mail-in or absentee ballot and you want to vote in person, you have two options:
    1. Bring your ballot and the pre-addressed outer return envelope to your polling place to be voided. After you surrender your ballot and envelope and sign a declaration, you can then vote a regular ballot.
    2. If you don't surrender your ballot and return envelope, you can only vote by provisional ballot at your polling place. Your county board of elections will then verify that you did not vote by mail before counting your provisional ballot.

 

What can I do to protect myself and others from COVID-19?

If you are planning to vote in person on election day, please follow these steps to help ensure a safe and orderly voting experience for everyone:

  • Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. This can be a cloth mask or scarf, like you would wear in a grocery store. 
    • We strongly encourage voters to wear masks out of respect for their fellow voters and for the dedicated poll workers staffing the polling places. Voters who are not wearing a mask will not be denied their right to vote. 
  • Bring your own blue- or black-ink pen to mark your ballot to limit your exposure to shared surfaces.
  • Practice good hand hygiene. You may want to bring hand sanitizer with you for your personal use.
  • Maintain social distance from poll workers and other voters. This means staying about six feet apart from other people while you are waiting in line, checking in and voting.
  • Follow instructions from poll workers and other election officials. They are there to help things run smoothly.
  • Be patient. This will be a new experience for everyone involved. You can help by being patient and understanding while you exercise your right to vote. 

 

What steps are counties taking to protect me from COVID-19?

Polling locations should follow the social distancing and disinfecting guidelines in effect during the pandemic. The Department of State is providing counties with supplies such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and other cleaning sanitizers, as well as tape to mark the floor for distance markers.

Examples of steps counties may take to protect voters:

  • Provide election officials with gloves, masks or other personal protective equipment.
  • Place sneeze guards or other physical barriers between poll workers and voters at the check-in table.
  • Designate work areas for poll workers that adhere to the 6-foot rule and encourage poll workers to follow proper hand hygiene.
  • Designate spaces for voters to stand while waiting to check-in, while waiting for an available voting station, and while waiting to scan their ballot. This can be done using signs, traffic cones, marking  tape and  instructions posted at the polling place.
  • Place hand-sanitizer dispensers at  polling place entrances and exits for voters to use.

The Department of State provided guidance to counties about elections during COVID-19. The guidance clarifies the provisions of Act 12 of 2020 and provides recommendations from health experts to protect public health during voting.


What if I have a problem?

    • If you need help voting or if you cannot use the voting system because of a disability, ask the poll workers about accessible voting options.
    • If a poll worker determines that you are not eligible to vote a regular ballot, you may ask to vote a provisional ballot.  Your provisional ballot will be counted if election officials determine that you are eligible to vote in person on election day.