Pennsylvania voter's guide: Voting in person

Published: September 22, 2020 - 9:41 AM

Where do I go to vote?

This isn’t yet finalized. County elections officials are working to figure out which locations are willing to open as polling places — some places, such as senior centers, are unwilling to during the coronavirus pandemic — and suitable for social distancing.

Your polling place might not be the same one you’ve gone to in the past, so check back closer to Election Day to know for sure.

How do I vote in person?

Things differ slightly by county, but generally you show up to your polling place, check in with a poll worker who signs you into a poll book, and then you vote on a voting machine.

What do I need to know about the voting machines?

They might be different from what you’ve used in the past. Every voting machine in the state has been replaced in the last two years to leave a paper trail recording every vote, so none of the machines are the same as they were in 2016. Paper-based voting systems are more secure because those records of individual votes can be audited or even hand-recounted.

Do I need ID to vote?

Only if this is your first time voting in that precinct, such as if you have moved to a new neighborhood or are newly registered. Otherwise, you won’t need photo ID and shouldn’t be asked for it.

What kind of ID do I need to vote in person?

When you vote in a precinct for the first time, you’ll need to show identification, such as a Pennsylvania driver’s license, U.S. passport, or student ID. There are also non-photo forms of identification that include your name and address, such as a current utility bill or bank statement.

When are polls open?

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on November 3. You can line up before 7 a.m., which voters often do to cast an early vote, and if you are in line by 8 p.m. you will be allowed to vote.

Will there be PPE?

Yes. Elections officials are working to provide equipment to poll workers and voters who may need it. In the primary, depending on the county and polling place, this included masks, gloves, tape for marking the floor for social distancing, face shields, and cleaning supplies. (Polling places received slightly different materials, such as receiving either face shields or hard plastic barriers that attached to poll workers’ tables.)

Want to know more about voting (by mail or in person) in this year’s general election?

See our voters guide here.

Do you still have questions about voting this year?

Ask us here.

Want to keep up with the latest news on how Pennsylvania is shaping the 2020 election?

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Reporting by:
Jonathan Lai

Photos by:
David Swanson, Charles Fox, Heather Khalifa and The Associated Press.