The Pa. municipal election is weeks away. What to know before casting your ballot on Nov. 2

With an Oct. 18 deadline to register to vote and an Oct. 26 cutoff to apply for a mail-in or absentee ballot, here’s what you need to know before Election Day

By: - October 10, 2021 6:30 am

(Capital-Star photo by Stephen Caruso)

It’s election season, and the November municipal election is just a few weeks away.

On Nov. 2, Pennsylvania voters will cast their ballot for statewide judicial and municipal candidates. 

With an Oct. 18 deadline to register to vote and an Oct. 26 cutoff to apply for a mail-in or absentee ballot, here’s what you need to know before Election Day:

Who can vote in the Nov. 2 election?

Every registered Pennsylvania voter can participate in the November election, regardless of party affiliation.

How do I register to vote?

Eligible Pennsylvania voters, those 18 and older, can register to vote online, by U.S. mail, in-person, or at a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation photo or driver’s license center.

To register online, visit pavoterservices.pa.gov

You must register at your home address. To complete the process, make sure to have your Pennsylvania driver’s license or PennDOT ID card on hand. If you don’t have identification, you may upload a signature or print and sign the form.

A hard copy of the registration form can be downloaded online and submitted by mail to your county elections office.

If your registration is accepted, you’ll receive a voter registration card in the mail, which will show your name, address, party affiliation, and your polling location. If you don’t get the card within two weeks of approval, contact your local elections office.

The final day to register or make changes to your voter registration before the November election is Oct. 18.

Can I vote in the November election by mail or absentee ballot?

Yes. All voters in Pennsylvania can cast ballots by mail.

Absentee ballots are available to voters who won’t be in their municipality on Election Day or those with a disability or illness that prevents them from voting in person.

To request either type of ballot, you must be registered to vote and apply by 5 p.m. on Oct. 26.

How do I apply for a mail-in or absentee ballot?

Much like the registration process, mail-in and absentee ballot applications can be submitted online, by mail, or at your local elections office.

To apply online, visit pavoterservices.pa.gov/OnlineAbsenteeApplication. If your application is approved, you’ll receive an email confirmation.

You also have the option to request to be added to the annual mail-in ballot request list, which means you’ll receive an application to renew your mail-in ballot request each year. Once your application is approved, you’ll automatically receive ballots for the rest of the year.

How do I return my mail-in or absentee ballot?

Once your mail-in ballot is filled out and signed, put it in the secrecy envelope and put the sealed secrecy envelope into the official envelope. Make sure to sign the form.

Mail-in ballots can be returned by mail or taken to your local elections office. All ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

How do I know my ballot was received?

You should receive an email confirmation once your ballot is collected and received by the county elections office.

I’m voting in person. How do I find my polling place?

To find your polling place, visit pavoterservices.pa.gov or call your local elections office.

When do polls open on Election Day?

Precincts are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Do I need identification to vote in person?

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, of government check
  • Any ID issued by the commonwealth or federal government

Identification without a photo must have your address on it.

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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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