Election Day is Tuesday November 3, 2020 and IT IS NOT TOO EARLY to make sure that you are prepared.
USE www.votespa.com to: (PA’s OFFICIAL VOTER INFORMATION WEBSITE)
1. Register to Vote
2. Confirm your registration
3. Make any needed changes
4. Find your polling place
5. Apply for a mail-in ballot
6. Access more voter information
Did you already apply for a mail-in ballot for November?
Click here for mail-in ballot status update: www.votespa.com/mailballotstatus
Also – a reminder that the November ballots will start being mailed on or about September 15.
Our Chester County Voter Services has a page dedicated to providing Voters with the information they need.
You can visit the page here: https://chester-county-election-portal-chesco.hub.arcgis.com/
Voter Registration – Deadline Oct. 19
Now is the time to check, change and/or register to vote. You can register if you are a US citizen, 18 years of age on or before November 3rd, and have lived in Pennsylvania for 30 days prior to Election Day. Remind high school seniors or recent graduates. It is also vital that your registration is current and correct so your ballot is counted. If you have changed your name, address, or party affiliation, now is the time to make sure your registration is accurate. You can make changes at votespa.com. If you haven’t voted for a while or if mistakes were made, your name may no longer be in the poll book. You should always vote provisionally at a polling place if there are any questions. It is best to be proactive and check in advance to make sure you are registered and all the information is correct. The deadline is October 19th.
Mail-in Ballots – request by October 27
To be safe and avoid risks, many Pennsylvanians are applying to vote by mail. If you have a reason, you may wish to use an absentee ballot. You need no reason, however, to vote by mail. To apply for a ballot, fill out the application at votespa.com. Make sure you include your complete address – including apartment number – so it will be delivered properly. The ballot will be mailed to you along with a stamped mailing envelope. It is imperative that all directions are followed carefully. This includes: filling or shading in the bubbles in black ink for the candidates of your choice; sealing the secrecy envelope in which you’ve placed your ballot, and placing the secrecy envelope in the stamped mailing envelope. (“Naked” ballots, without a secrecy envelope, will NOT be counted.) The mailing envelope must then be signed (not initialed) with your signature and dated with the current day, month, and year (not birthday). Apply now and mail in as soon as possible given that delays may exist because of postal backlogs. You can go to votespa.com to track your ballot to make sure it’s secure and processed properly. Currently, all ballots must be postmarked by 8 p.m. on Election Day and received by Friday, November 6th at the County Board of Elections to be counted. (Litigation may alter this, so you may wish to mail by Oct. 20th!) Drop boxes and satellite election offices will be available in several county locations. Only drop YOUR OWN BALLOT in a drop box. (It is a felony if you even put in a ballot of a friend or family member.) Check your County Bureau of Elections or Voter Service Office for times and places.
Voting in Person – Tuesday, Nov. 3
As in the past, polling places will be available for those who wish to vote in person from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. It is anticipated that some polls will be consolidated as a result of the lack of poll workers and the decreased demand created by mail-in ballots. Make sure you know your polling place prior to November 3rd. You can find this out through your County Bureau of Elections or Voter Service Office. First -time voters at a polling place are required to have identification. Valid forms of identification can be found at votespa.com. If you wish to know what to expect at the polls or learn about the voting machines you may be using, go to votespa.com. Voting machines are available for those with disabilities, and assistance with the machines can be requested. There will be no lever or button to push to vote a “straight party” ballot. You will need to vote for each candidate individually. If you are questioned about your right to vote at the polling place, ask for a provisional ballot to use.
It is best to have a plan to vote and stick to it. However, if your mail-in ballot becomes damaged in some way, bring every bit of it, including both envelopes, to your County Bureau of Elections or Voter Services Office for a replacement. Each ballot is coded and tracked. You can even follow it from the time you apply to the time it is received to be counted at votespa.com . If you change your mind and wish to vote in person, you cannot drop it off at the polling place. You must bring the entire ballot with both envelopes to your polling place, wait in line, and then have it spoiled before being able to cast your vote in person on another ballot issued to you. This will take time so be prepared to wait. If you don’t receive your mail-in ballot before Election Day, go to your polling place and ask for a provisional ballot. Everyone has a right to cast a provisional ballot. However, it will be counted after all the other ballots are received to make sure no one votes twice!
Non-Partisan Candidate Information
If you wish to find out how to register in other states across the country, see a sample ballot, locate your polling place or find out non-partisan information about those running for office, Vote411.org is a respected resource.
CAUTION – Signatures that are inconsistent may be a reason for questioning your right to vote both at the polling place or by mail. In filling out any forms, make sure all the signatures are in black ink and match each other and your name. Names on your voter registration card and your driver’s license should be the same. First-time voters may need them as well as those casting mail-in ballots for verification. For example, if you write John P. Voter as your name, do not sign the form J.P. Voter or a similar variation. Use John P. Voter.
If you fill out paper application or registration forms, make sure you print legibly in black ink, with exception of your signature.
Other Voting Information:
If you wish to be a poll worker, you can sign up at votespa.com or contact your County Bureau of Elections or Voter Services Office.
Released felons, those in jail for misdemeanors, on parole or probation, under house arrest, or awaiting trial are eligible to vote. Some who are unable to go to the polls may need absentee ballots.
If you are helping to register people to vote, you may not tell or suggest a party affiliation. However, everyone needs to know that we have closed primaries in Pennsylvania. Only registered Republicans or Democrats can vote to select candidates in primary elections. All voters can vote in general elections, special elections and on ballot items or referenda.
Get in touch!