Elections and Voting

Elections and Voting

 

For more information about elections in Pennsylvania, see PDF icon2020 ELECTIONS FAQ

 

yrvotecountsDEMOCRACY IS NOT A SPECTATOR SPORT

  •  Who is on the ballot in the next election?

  • How to find information about candidate

  • Where are the candidates debating?

  • How to register to vote

.....and more

 

VOTER INFORMATION:

The LWVGP Voter Guide will be availablePDF iconhere

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

 A photo ID is not required to vote. If you are voting at your polling place for the first time, you must bring an ID (not necessarily with a photo). Acceptable forms of ID are shown here.

If your registration is challenged, you are entitled to a provisional ballot which will be counted if you are later determined to be eligible.

Voting by Mail-in Ballot

The mail-in ballot is new this year.  It does not require a reason for voting by mail, as the absentee ballot does.  It gives each voter the opportunity to mark her or his ballot at home and return it through the mail.  It is still a secret ballot. 

You must apply for a “mail-in” or “absentee” ballot in advance.  You will find complete instructions on how to do this here.  If you would rather apply by mail you can download and print a form from that same page.  Do it soon so the elections department has plenty of time to return your ballot to you.

Because of Covid-19, the Allegheny County Division of Elections wants to minimize the physical risks for voters and poll workers and wants most voters to use the mail-in ballots. As of April 23, the county received over 90,000 applications for mail-in ballots; 20,000 ballots have already been mailed out. Processing  applications is in process. Twenty-five work stations are coming from the PA Department of State and the Elections office is working two shifts: 9-3, 3-11 and pulling many workers from other County offices to augment the staff. 

Voting in Person

However, some voters want or need to vote in person.  Voting locations will be centralized.  Don’t go to your regular place!  On April 23, the Board of Elections passed a resolution by a 2-1 vote to consolidate polling places within the county to one for each of the 129 municipalities outside the City of Pittsburgh.  In Pittsburgh, one polling place shall be located in each of the nine council districts.  The resolution is here.

All registered voters, who have not applied for a ballot by mail or an absentee ballot, will receive notification prior to the primary election of the location of their polling place. 

Important dates and links:

May 18, 2020 – Last day to REGISTER TO VOTE before the primary

May 26, 2020 – Last day to apply for a mail-in or civilian absentee ballot

June 2, 2020 – Last day for County Boards of Elections to receive voted mail-in and civilian absentee ballots (must be received by 8 P.M.)

June 2, 2020 – GENERAL PRIMARY Polls are open from 7 A.M. to 8 P.M.

 

REGISTER TO VOTE:

You can register to vote online or make changes to your registration here.  You can also download a hard copy, mail-in registration form to register or make changes in your registration here.

Additional information about registering and voting is available at the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania website VotesPA

ADDITIONAL ELECTION DETAILS:

For important dates in the election cycle including date to file an absentee ballot, see Pennsylvania Election Calendar 

To apply for an absentee ballot, call the Division of Elections, 412-350-4520, for an Absentee Ballot Application Form or download it here

 

IS THERE A BETTER WAY TO CREATE ELECTION DISTRICTS?

 

The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania has been advocating for redistricting reform since 1991. The timeline of these efforts shows here.

In June 2016 at the LWVUS Biennial convention, delegates approved a comprehensive position of redistricting. You can read more about it here.

A coalition of many organizations called Fair Districts PA, led by the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania and Common Cause, was formed in January 2016 and is working hard on redistricting reform. You can find information about it here.

A 2015 report on a conference on redistricting reform is posted here. Chris Carson, elected LWVUS President at the 2016 Convention, led a panel on overcoming entrenched interests as part of this conference. Chris had been involved in redistricting efforts in California since 2009. 

The report includes a brief discussion of project "You Draw the Lines 2021" - an initiative that you can explore here.

 

Copyright League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh, Inc., Pennsylvania. All rights reserved. Last Revised April 26, 2020

 

 

 

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