General Election 2020 Voting Guide

November 3 is the General and Presidential Election. Due to COVID-19, some aspects of voting have changed. We have bolded those changes.

  • All registered voters, regardless of party affiliation, are eligible to vote in this election.
  • You can vote by completing a mail-in ballot or absentee ballot. Complete your ballot in black or blue ink, place it inside the privacy envelope, place the privacy envelope inside the mailing envelope, and sign the outside of the sealed mailing envelope.
  • Mail-in ballots and absentee ballots must be received or postmarked by November 3. Check your ballot or ballot application status online. Due to USPS delays, it is recommended you drop off your ballot instead of mailing it.
  • Drop off your completed mail-in or absentee ballot at the Allegheny County Elections Division (map here). Unless you are the designated agent for a disabled personyou can only drop off your own ballot. The Elections Office is currently open from 8 AM to 8 PM.
  • Many polling places have closed or changed due to COVID-19. Find your polling place on Allegheny County’s website.
  • Polls are open from 7 AM to 8 PM on Election Day. If you are in line at 8 PM, you are still allowed to vote.
  • Follow all COVID-19 safety protocol if you are voting in person. Wear a mask, bring your own blue or black pen, and, when possible, stay at least 6 feet away from voters and poll workers.
  • An ID is not required to vote unless you are voting for the first time at your polling place. You may show a photo ID or a non-photo ID if it has your full name and current address on it. Read the entire list of acceptable IDs online.
  • If you have a mail-in or absentee ballot and want to vote in person instead, take it, the privacy envelope, and the mailing envelope to your polling station on Election Day. After you sign a declaration that you have not voted yet, you will get a new ballot.
  • If you are unsure about your registration or your mail-in or absentee ballot status, you may cast a provisional ballot at your polling station.
  • If you think you have found an illegal ballot return, destroyed or tampered ballots, or your ability to vote was impeded by intimidation, bias, or lack of appropriate aid, you may file a complaint by calling the Pennsylvania Department of State at 877-VOTES-PA (877-868-3772) or by completing an online form. You can also contact the national organization Vote411.org by calling 1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683).
  • Check the election results on Allegheny County’s website or Pennsylvania’s website.

Before You Vote

Voting with a mail-in or absentee ballot

  • You can no longer apply for a mail-in or absentee ballot for the November 3 election. If you applied for a mail-in or absentee ballot and you have not received it yet, check your application status or contact the Allegheny County Elections Division.
  • Due to a printing error, it is possible that you initially received an incorrect ballot. If you received or submitted an incorrect one, Allegheny County mailed a correct ballot afterward. Check your voter registration and sample ballot to ensure your ballot is correct.
  • Complete your ballot with black or blue ink. Place your ballot inside the privacy envelope, then place the privacy envelope inside the mailing envelope. Sign the outside of the mailing envelope.
  • If a voter is disabled, they may assign someone as their designated agent for voter assistance. Both the disabled voter and the designated assistant must fill out the Request for Accessible Remote Ballot and include it in the privacy envelope. The designated assistant must sign the mailing envelope.
  • Submit your mail-in or absentee ballot as soon as possible. Ballots must be received or postmarked by Election Day (November 3). Ballots will be counted through November 6.
  • Due to USPS delays, the Post Office has warned that mailed ballots may not be received on time. Guarantee your ballot will be counted by submitting it to the Allegheny County Elections Division (map here). It is currently open from 8 AM to 8 PM.
  • Unless you are the designated agent for a disabled person, you can only submit your own ballot.
  • If you have a mail-in or absentee ballot and want to vote in person instead, take it, the privacy envelope, and the mailing envelope to your polling station on Election Day. After you sign a declaration that you have not voted yet, you will get a new ballot.
  • Check the status of your mail-in or absentee ballot online to ensure it was counted. If you are unsure if it was counted or haven’t received your ballot, you may submit a provisional ballot in person. Provisional ballots are counted once your registration is confirmed.
  • If you think you have found an illegal ballot return, destroyed or tampered ballots, or your ability to vote was impeded by intimidation, bias, or lack of appropriate aid, you may file a complaint by calling the Pennsylvania Department of State at 877-VOTES-PA (877-868-3772) or by completing an online form. You can also contact the national organization Vote411.org by calling 1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683).

Voting in person

  • Polls are open from 7 AM to 8 PM. If you are in line at 8 PM, you are still allowed to vote.
  • An ID is not required to vote unless you are voting for the first time at your polling place. You may show a photo ID or a non-photo ID if it has your full name and current address on it. Acceptable forms of photo ID include driver’s license, passport, U.S. Armed Forces ID, and student ID. Acceptable forms of non-photo ID include a current utility bill, bank statement, or paycheck. Read the entire list of acceptable IDs online.
  • Follow all COVID-19 safety protocol. Wear a mask, bring your own blue or black pen, and, when possible, stay at least 6 feet away from voters and poll workers.
  • If your voter registration is challenged or you are unsure if your mail-in or absentee ballot was counted, you are allowed to cast a provisional ballot. Provisional ballots are counted once your registration is confirmed.
  • If you have a mail-in or absentee ballot and want to vote in person, take your mail-in or absentee ballot to your polling station on Election Day. After you sign a declaration that you have not voted yet, you will get a new ballot.
  • If you are disabled, you may bring someone with you or ask somebody to provide voting assistance. Complete the Declaration of the Need of Assistance to Vote  with your voting assistant. Voting assistants can be election officials, friends, family, or another voter of your choice. Voting assistance includes aid for disabilities, illiteracy, and non-native English speakers. Your employer, union representative, or the Judge of Elections cannot provide voting assistance.
  • If you are disabled or above the age of 65 and are unable to vote at your polling place, you may request an Emergency Alternative Ballot.
  • If you think you have found an illegal ballot return, destroyed or tampered ballots, or your ability to vote was impeded by intimidation, bias, or lack of appropriate aid, you may file a complaint by calling the Pennsylvania Department of State at 877-VOTES-PA (877-868-3772) or by completing an online form. You can also contact the national organization Vote411.org by calling 1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683).

After You Vote

  • Check the election returns on Allegheny County’s live results website or  www.electionreturns.pa.gov.
  • If you cast a mail-in or absentee ballot, check if it was counted online or by calling 877-VOTES-PA (877-868-3772). Ballots received or postmarked by the end of Election Day (November 3) will be counted through November 6. 
  • If you cast a provisional ballot, check if it was counted by calling 877-VOTES-PA (877-868-3772) or by checking online. The Allegheny County Elections Division  is required to verify your provisional ballot within 7 days of Election Day.

If you have any other questions about the election, contact one of our librarians or the Allegheny County Elections office at 412-350-4500.

Thank you for doing your civic duty as safely as possible.

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