Planning to vote in person on Nov. 8? Here’s what to know

By: - November 7, 2022 7:23 am

(Capital-Star file)

One million Pennsylvania voters have cast their ballots ahead of Tuesday’s midterm election. But plenty of people are expected to vote in person on Nov. 8.

Voters in this year’s general election could determine political control in the U.S. Senate by electing a new senator to serve in the upper chamber. They’ll choose Pennsylvania’s next governor and decide who represents them in the state Senate and House of Representatives.

The deadline to apply for a mail-in or absentee ballot has passed, but voters have until 8 p.m. on Nov. 8 to return theirs to their county election office or deposit them into a ballot drop box.

If you plan to vote in person, here’s what to know before heading to the polls:

Am I registered to vote?

Every registered voter can vote in the general election, regardless of party affiliation.

The deadline to register or update your registration has passed, but you can still check yours online before heading to the polls. You can also contact your local election office or call 1-877-868-3772.

When do polls open?

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. on Election Day. If you’re in line before 8 p.m., you can still vote.

How do I find my polling place?

Find your polling place online by entering your address or contacting your local election office.

Is there free or discounted transportation to my polling place?

Check your local public transit for potential discounts or free rides to the polls on Election Day.

Lyft, the ridesharing service, is offering 50 percent off on all rides on Nov. 8. The discount covers up to $10 if you use the promotional code VOTE22.

Do I need an ID to vote?

If you’ve voted at your polling place before, you do not need to bring an ID to cast your ballot.

First-time voters or voters whose polling location has changed must show valid identification, including:

  • Driver’s license
  • Military, student, or employee ID
  • Voter registration card
  • Firearm permit
  • Current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or government check
  • Any ID issued by the commonwealth or federal government

Identification without a photo must have your name and address on it.

You can find the full list of acceptable identification online.

I applied for a mail-in ballot. Can I vote in person instead?

If you applied for a mail-in ballot but want to vote in person, you may as long as you haven’t cast your mail-in ballot.

Voters who want to vote at the polls are asked to hold on to their mail-in ballot and return envelope and bring them to their polling place on Election Day. Poll workers will ask you to sign a declaration saying you did not yet vote, and you will surrender the mail-in ballot. If you lose or forget the mail-in ballot, you may vote by provisional ballot on Election Day.

What is a provisional ballot?

A provisional ballot is a paper ballot given to voters who believe to be registered but whose names are not in the sign-in book at their polling place.

If you are a first-time voter who does not provide an ID at the polls on Election Day, you will be offered a provisional ballot.

What if I’m intimidated at the polls?

The Department of State has listed examples of voter intimidation and the penalties online.

If you witness or experience voter intimidation, report the incident to your local board of elections and district attorney.

Each county board of elections must investigate alleged violations. The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office also has the authority to investigate and prosecute voter intimidation and Election Code violations.

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Marley Parish
Marley Parish

A Pennsylvania native, Marley Parish covers the Senate for the Capital-Star. She previously reported on government, education and community issues for the Centre Daily Times and has a background in writing, editing and design. A graduate of Allegheny College, Marley served as editor of the campus newspaper, where she also covered everything from student government to college sports.

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