AccessMatters believes voting is a basic right that all people should be able to exercise without barriers. Elected officials influence the policies that directly impact the lives of ALL Pennsylvanians, including issues related to access to sexual and reproductive health care, and many other issues that impact people’s health and well being.
It is a presidential election year and there are multiple offices up for election in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania that are critical to policy-making on sexual and reproductive health issues among others. AccessMatters is counting on your vote to protect and expand access to critical health care.
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Guide to Voting In The 2020 Primary Election
Due to COVID-19 and voting laws enacted last year in Pennsylvania, some voting guidelines and important dates have changed. We want to be sure you are aware of what you need to do if you want to participate in the 2020 primary election. The items below in bold indicate a change from the typical voting dates or reflect new guidelines.
With current social distancing recommendations, AccessMatters encourages voters to take advantage of the mail-in ballot options. However, we encourage you to apply as soon as possible to avoid delays in receiving your ballot
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Voter Registration – If you are already registered to vote in Pennsylvania, you do not have to register again unless you need to change your name, address, or political party.
- To register to vote you must meet the following requirements:
- Be a citizen of the United States for at least one month before the next primary, special, municipal, or general 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 primary, special, municipal, or general election.
- Be at least 18 years of age on or before the day of the next primary, special, municipal, or general election.
- You must register to vote by the May 18 deadline in order to vote in the June 2 Primary Election.
- Check your registration status to make sure all of your personal information is updated.
Primary Election Voting
- The primary election day is now on Tuesday, June 2. While the polls will be open throughout the state from 7am to 8pm, we now have the option of mail-in voting! AccessMatters encourages voters to take advantage of the mail-in voting option during Pennsylvania’s ongoing stay-at-home orders.
- Primary Election basics: In a primary election, registered voters can vote to express their preference for which candidate should receive a particular party’s nomination for the upcoming general election. Pennsylvania holds “closed” primaries which means voters can only vote for candidates running for the party in which the voter is registered. Find out more information about primary elections in Pennsylvania.
- Voting at a polling place
- Voting by Mail
- There are two types of mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania: absentee, which are for individuals who will be out of their municipality on election day or who have a disability or illness, and mail-in ballots, which are available to all qualified voters for any reason. You must apply to request a mail-in ballot online or by mail.
- Applying for A Mail-in Ballot or Absentee Ballot:
- Mail-in ballot and absentee ballot applications must be received by your county election office by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26.
- You can track the status of your mail-in application or ballot online as well!
- Completing Your Ballot Once You Receive it:
- Once you receive your mail-in ballot (after submitting your application by May 26), the completed ballot must be received by the County Board of Elections by 8pm on Tuesday, June 2.
- UPDATE: For residents of Allegheny, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties ONLY the deadline for the county election office to receive absentee or mail-in ballots returned via mail has been extended. If you are returning your absentee or mail-in ballot via mail, ballots can now be postmarked no later than June 2 and received by the county election office by 5pm on Tuesday, June 9. If you are hand delivering your absentee or mail-in ballot by dropping it off in-person at your county election office, the deadline remains 8pm on June 2. This extension only applies to residents in the specific counties listed above. More info on the extension here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-signs-executive-order-extending-mail-ballot-deadline-in-six-counties-to-june-9/
- The following offices will appear on the June 2 ballot in Pennsylvania:
- President of the United States
- U.S. House of Representatives
- State Executive Offices
- State Senate (Odd numbered districts)
- State House of Representatives
- Delegate to the National Convention (Democratic and Republican)
- Alternate Delegate to the National Convention (Democratic and Republican)
- Votes PA
- Committee of Seventy’s WeVote App: You can download the mobile app and join the AccessMatters team! Earn “points” for actions you take – like using the voter’s guide, volunteering, etc.
- League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania
- Go to org/ballot for a personalized ballot tool that provides you with information on the different candidates specific to your address.
- Report any issues to the Pennsylvania Department of State online or call 1-877-VOTESPA (1-877-868-3772).