How to Vote in the PA General Election

Everything you need to know about voting in Pennsylvania before the general election on November 3

The next election in Pennsylvania is the general election November 3, 2020.

We put together this handy voter guide so you can step into the voting booth (or fill out a mail-in ballot) ready to go. Keep reading to find easy tips on how to check your registration status, vote at a satellite election office with your mail-in ballot and where to find your polling place if you’re voting in person on Election Day.

Please note: The deadlines to register to vote in Pennsylvania and request a mail-in ballot for the 2020 general election have passed.

Find our guide on how to vote in Pennsylvania below, or skip right to a specific section to learn…

How to check your PA voter registration

First things first: Make sure you’re registered to vote in the state of Pennsylvania.

The process is simple. Go to this site to check your voter registration status by entering one of three criteria: your name, driver’s license number or PennDOT ID.

Voting by mail and at satellite election offices

Voters line up outside a satellite election office in South Philadelphia
Voters line up outside a satellite election office at High School For Creative & Performing Arts in South Philly | Photo by Josh Middleton

The deadline to sign up for a new mail-in ballot for the 2020 general election has passed.

That means you can no longer request a new mail-in ballot for this election, but between October 28 and November 3 at 8pm, you can still get a replacement mail-in ballot at a satellite election office (SEO) if you signed up for one before the cut-off date.

Whatever the reason—you requested a mail ballot and didn’t receive it, you messed something up when you were filling it out, you spilled coffee on it—you can go to an SEO and get a new ballot, fill it out and turn it back in.

Satellite election offices are now open throughout Philadelphia. There, voters will be able to drop off their mail-in ballots in-person during their hours of operation. Voters who have not yet requested a mail-in ballot will be able to go to the office, request a ballot, fill it out, and turn it back in—all in one trip.

The hours of operation for all satellite election offices are: Monday through Thursday from 11:30am to 6:30pm; and Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9:30am to 4:30pm.

Here’s a list of satellite election office locations open right now in Philly. You can also check out a map here.

Satellite Election Office locations Philadelphia


Thanks to a new Supreme Court decision, your vote will be counted if your ballot is received within three days of Election Day. But why wait that long and chance it? Fill it out and get it in as soon as possible to make sure the vote count runs smoothly on the night of the election.

You can track the status of your ballot—including double-checking to make sure you signed up—here.

Find Your Polling Place and More

voting vote polling stations election
Photo by Sabina Louise Pierce

During Covid-19, the City has approved locations for 1,440 polling places (out of 1,703 divisions in all). Make sure you know where to go.

  1. Find your polling place here. This is the place you’ll vote on Election Day.
  2. Will you be away on election day? Get a PA absentee ballot.
  3. Learn how to get a mail-in ballot here.
  4. Know your rights and responsibilities as a voter.
  5. Plan ahead: View a sample ballot.

What to expect on Election Day 2020

Election Day is officially November 3, 2020, but brand new election laws in Pennsylvania give local voters more options than ever to cast their ballots—whether it’s in person, by mail or at a satellite polling location conveniently located throughout the city starting in September (details about those are forthcoming).

If you’re voting in person, polls will be open from 7am to 8pm on November 3. Remember that you can get in line to vote before 7am, and you can vote as long as you were in line before 8pm—even if you don’t get into the actual voting booth until later. Also remember: Polling places change, so make sure you know where to go by checking here.

Before making your decisions, check out our voter guide to the PA general election for info on all candidates running, ballot questions and more.

Good luck getting out the vote, Pennsylvania!