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. They influence decisions on various issues related to access to sexual and reproductive health care and many other issues that impact people’s health and wellbeing.
It is a presidential election year and there are also other seats up for election across Pennsylvania that are critical to policy-making on sexual and reproductive health issues among others that directly impact people’s lives. AccessMatters is counting on your vote to protect and expand access to critical health care.
Guide to Voting in the November 2020 General Election
Due to COVID-19 and voting laws enacted last year in Pennsylvania, some voting guidelines and important dates have changed.
With current social distancing recommendations, AccessMatters encourages voters to take advantage of the mail-in ballot options. The important deadlines are listed below. However, we encourage you to apply as soon as possible to avoid delays and ensure your vote is counted!
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 October 19 deadline in order to vote by mail or in-person in the November 3 General Election.
- If you want to register to vote online, you must register by 11:59pm on October 19.
- To register by mail you can print a form online and then send to your county voter registration office by mail. Registration forms are available in different languages.
- Check your registration status to make sure all of your personal information is updated.
General Election Voting
- The general election day is on Tuesday, November 3. While the polls will be open throughout the state from 7am to 8pm, any registered voter now has the option to vote by mail! AccessMatters encourages voters to take advantage of the mail-in voting option since COVID-19 remains a public health risk.
- 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 5pm on Tuesday, October 27. 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 October 27), the completed ballot must be received by the County Board of Elections by 8pm on Tuesday, November 3.
Note: You are encouraged to request a mail-in ballot and return the completed ballot prior to the deadline.
- The following offices will appear on the November 3 ballot in Pennsylvania:
- Additional resources:
- Visit Votes PA for voter registration information, vote-by-mail information, and polling location information.
- 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 vote411.org/ballotfor 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 onlineor call 1-877-VOTESPA (1-877-868-3772).