Pennsylvania Election FAQs
We get it. Elections can be confusing. From where to vote, to how to vote, to what to vote, it’s enough to make anyone’s head spin. Take a look below to find answers to some of the most commonly asked election questions!
Q1: How do I find my polling location?
A: The county where you register to vote assigns you to a polling place for each election. Polling locations may change from one election to another so it is important to check the location before each election. Go here to find your polling location or contact your County Elections Office.
Q2. How do I know what district I’m in?
Fill in your name and address here to get a personalized Voter Guide for your legislative districts. Only the candidates that will be on your ballot will be shown.
Q3: I’ve moved and forgot to register at my new address. Can I vote at my new polling place?
A: No. You must register at your new address to be eligible to vote at your new polling place. You can register to vote here online by October 19, 2020. If you’re not sure whether or not you changed your voter registration, you can check the status here.
Q4: What are the hours of the polling places?
A: All counties have their polls open from 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.
Q5: What identification do I need to bring to the polling location?
A: You only need identification if it is your first time voting at that polling location. For the most up-to-date list of acceptable forms of identification go here.
Q6: How do I apply to vote by mail or by absentee ballot?
A: In Pennsylvania, you can now vote by mail for any reason. You may choose either a mail-in ballot or an absentee ballot – applications are due by October 27, 2020. Request an absentee ballot here if you have a disability or illness, or will be away from your polling location on Election Day. If you simply wish to vote by mail for any reason, request a mail-in ballot here and apply by October 27, 2020.
Q7: How can I receive a mail-in ballot or absentee ballot every year?
A: If you have a permanent disability or illness, you can apply to receive an absentee ballot application each year automatically. Simply choose that option on your absentee ballot request this year. Find out more information here. If you wish to vote by mail each year, you can select that option on your mail-in ballot application and you will automatically receive a mail-in ballot each year. Find out more information here.
Q8: I forgot to mail my mail-in ballot or absentee ballot. Is it too late?
Q9: I made a mistake on my absentee or mail-in ballot. What do I do?
A: Contact your County Elections Office.
Q10: I have a last-minute emergency on Election Day and can’t get to the polls. How can I still vote?
A: If it is after the October 27, 2020 deadline to apply for an absentee ballot, in emergency situations (such as unexpected illness or disability and last-minute absence), you can request an Emergency Absentee Ballot. Contact your County Elections Office. The deadline to submit to your Emergency Absentee Ballot Application to the County Elections Office is 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.
Q11: I registered to vote, but my name was not on the roster at my polling location. How do I vote?
A: You can check your voter registration status here. If it shows that you should be registered at that location, you have the right to vote a provisional ballot. Find out more about provisional ballots here.
Q12: What are the Key Election Dates to remember?
A: Click here to view the Key Election Dates.
Voter Guide FAQs
Q1: Which races are covered?
A: The races included in this Guide are:
- President of the United States
- U.S. House of Representatives
- PA Attorney General
- PA Auditor General
- PA Treasurer
- PA State Senate (odd-numbered districts)
- PA State House of Representatives
Q2: Am I required to vote for every race?
Q3: How many candidates can I vote for?
A: One candidate per race.
Q4: What can I do at pafamilyvoter.com?
A: You can:
- Read comments from the candidates.
- View responses from candidates who missed the print deadline.
- View answers based on public statements and other credible sources for candidates who declined to respond to the survey.
- Access a personalized copy of the Voter Guide.
- Find information on voting – including how to find out where you’re registered to vote, where to register to vote, where to apply for a mail-in ballot, etc.
Q5: Where can I view the candidate comments?
A: Type the candidate’s name into the search bar at the top of pafamilyvoter.com and you will see the candidate’s comments below their survey responses.
Q6: Is the Voter Guide Democratic or Republican?
A: Neither. It is factual, impartial, and nonpartisan. Every candidate in the covered races was treated equally and had the same opportunity to respond to the questions.
Q7: Who paid for the Voter Guide?
A: Concerned Pennsylvanians dedicated to responsible citizenship have donated to make this resource available. No candidate or political party paid for any part of the guide. If you would like to join in our effort to educate voters, click here.
Q8: Are you endorsing specific candidates?
A: No. This guide is a nonpartisan educational resource provided as a public service. No candidates are endorsed.
Q9: Why do some of the candidates not respond?
A: We don’t know. All candidates were provided the same opportunity to respond to the survey questions. For candidates who declined to respond, we’ve provided the candidate’s contact information from the PA Department of State website. We encourage you to contact the candidate directly to ask them the survey questions.
Q10: What if the issue important to me is not addressed in the Voter Guide?
A: Our Voter Guide questions were designed to include a broad range of issues that will be of interest to the general public. If an issue important to you was not addressed in the Voter Guide, please feel free to contact the candidate directly.
Q11: How can I support the Voter Guide?
A: This guide would not be possible without the generous support of individuals around our state. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to continue this valuable work, you can call (717) 545-0600 or click here. While there, sign up for free email updates on issues critical to your family.
Q12: What can a church do regarding the Voter Guide?
A: Churches may distribute the Voter Guide as a permissible activity without jeopardizing their tax-exempt status with the IRS. Here’s an overview of what churches can and cannot do during the election season. Specific questions may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q13: What are the Key Election Dates to remember?
A: Click here to view the Key Election Dates.
Q14: Who is the Pennsylvania Family Council (PFC)?
A: Pennsylvania Family Council (PFC) seeks to help individuals make Pennsylvania a place where God is honored, life is cherished, families thrive and religious freedom flourishes. For more information, visit pafamily.org.
Voter Registration FAQs
Q1: I have moved. Do I need to register again?
A: Yes, you must register at your new address. Register online.
Q2. I recently moved, and I’m not sure where I’m registered to vote. How do I find out?
A: Check your voter registration status here.
Q3. Who can register to vote?
A: Any U.S. citizen and Pennsylvania resident who will be 18 by the election date can register.
Q4. I will be 18 by election day, but I am not going to be 18 before the voter registration deadline. Can I still register and vote on election day?
A: Yes, if you will be 18 on or before an election date, you can register by the deadline as a 17-year-old. The deadline to register is October 19, 2020.
Q5. I am disabled and unable to fill out my form. Can someone else help me fill out my form?
A: Yes. You may have someone fill out the form at your request. They must sign the form to verify that they signed the form on your behalf.
Q6. My name has changed. Do I need to register again?
A: Yes. You will need to update your voter registration here.
Q7. What if I live in Pennsylvania only part of the year?
A: You can register to vote in Pennsylvania only if you are a resident of Pennsylvania.
Q8. What telephone number should I list? What if my telephone number is unlisted?
A: You are not required to list a phone number. Should you choose to provide a number, please keep in mind that whichever number you submit may be used by campaigns to contact you. Campaigns do not have to abide by the “Do Not Call” registry. Most voters choose to list their home phone number rather than a cell phone number.
Q9. What are the requirements for the Pennsylvania driver’s license box?
A: Federal law requires that registrants give a driver’s license number or the last four digits of their social security number. If you have a Pennsylvania driver’s license or identification card, list the driver’s license number. If you do not have a license, list the last four digits of your social security number.
Q10. What if I do not want to register with a party?
A: Registering with a party is not required. If you wish to vote in the Primary, you must be registered as a Democrat or a Republican. Visit the online form and enter your information to see what party you are registered under.
Q11. What if I want to look up or change my political party?
Q12. What do I do once I have completed my form?
A: Once you have completed your form, tear off the carbon copy page (if applicable) to keep for your records or print the online confirmation. Fold the form in half along the “fold line” and seal it using the adhesive. On the back of the carbon copy page are addresses for all of Pennsylvania’s County Elections Offices (or you may go here to find a list). Write the address of your County Elections Office on the envelope and stick it in the mail. The form MUST be addressed to the appropriate County Elections Office. If you are including a photocopy of identification documents, you must include the photocopy and the voter registration form in an envelope rather than using the adhesive. Don’t forget to add a stamp! Several forms for the same county may be mailed together in one envelope to that county’s office. Or you can register to vote online here.
Q13. How long does it take for my Voter Registration to be approved?
A: The County Elections Office will send your Voter Registration card 14 days after receiving the form. If you do not hear from them by then, contact them directly. If you are using the online form, print the online confirmation for your records. If you are completing a paper form, either keep the carbon copy or make a copy for your records.