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One of the founding tenets of The Philadelphia Citizen is to get people the resources they need to become better, more engaged citizens of their city.

We hope to do that in our Good Citizenship Toolkit, which includes a host of ways to get involved in Philadelphia — whether you want to contact your City Councilmember about the challenges facing your commmunity, get those experiencing homelessness the goods they need, or simply go out to dinner somewhere where you know your money is going toward a greater good.

Find an issue that’s important to you in the list below, and get started on your journey of A-plus citizenship.

Vote and strengthen democracy

Stand up for marginalized communities

Create a cleaner, greener Philadelphia

Help our local youth and schools succeed

Support local businesses

How to Vote in Philadelphia

Everything you need to know about voting in Philadelphia

We put together this handy how-to-vote guide so that you can step into the voting booth (or fill out a mail-in ballot) with confidence.

Keep reading to find easy tips on how to register to vote in Philadelphia (and, for that matter, Pennsylvania), how to check your registration status, how to sign up for mail-in ballots, and how to find your polling place and voting district.

An informed voter is the best kind of voter (though all voters are pretty great), so we hope you’ll find this useful in the pursuit of your No. 1 civic duty.

General Election: Tuesday, November 5, 2024, 7am to 8pm

Scroll down for all the info you’ll need to vote in Philadelphia in the next election, or skip ahead to find out:

REGISTERING TO VOTE IN PENNSYLVANIA

You can vote in the United States if you are:

    • A citizen of the United States for at least one month before Election Day
    • A resident of Philadelphia and your election district for at least 30 days before Election Day
    • At least 18 years of age on or before Election Day

Check all those boxes? Great! But do it quick: No matter how you choose register:

In order to vote on Election Day, November 5, 2024, you must register to vote by Monday, October 21, 2024.

HOW TO REGISTER TO VOTE ONLINE

Click on this link to fill out the Voter Registration Application. Fill it out top to bottom, verify that you’re not a robot and hit send.

When your application is submitted, you’ll receive an application tracking number in your email. You can use that to track your voter registration application status through this form.

When you are successfully registered, you’ll receive a voter registration card in the mail, which details the address of your polling place. That should take about 14 days.

To vote in on Election Day, November 5, 2024, this registration must be completed by October 21, 2024.

HOW TO REGISTER TO VOTE BY MAIL

Download and print this application, then fill it out, sign it and mail it to your county board of elections, which you can find here. Registration applications must be received in county voter registration offices by close of business on the voter registration deadline.

In Philadelphia, that address is:
The Philadelphia County Board of Elections
520 N. Columbus Boulevard, 5th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19123

No printer? Voter registration applications are also available at the U.S. Post Office, Philadelphia public libraries and, funny enough, state liquor stores.

To vote in on Election Day, November 5, 2024, your mail-in registration must be received by October 21, 2024. (This means putting it in the mail at least a few days ahead!)

HOW TO REGISTER TO VOTE IN-PERSON

When election times draw near, you may find local organizations manning voter registration drives near busy areas of the city, like groceries and public parks. These folks will have all the tools on hand to help you through the registration process — just remember to have a valid PA ID handy.

In order to vote on Election Day, November 5, 2024, you must register in person by October 21, 2024.


CHECKING VOTER REGISTRATION AND MAKING UPDATES

The last thing you want to do is show up to the polls on Election Day to find out you’re not even registered. It’s always a good idea to double check. We show you how to do that below, along with making updates to your registration status — whether it’s changing your address or swapping political parties.

HOW TO CHECK YOUR VOTER REGISTRATION IN PA

Want to verify that you’re registered to vote in PA? The process is simple. Go to this site and enter one of three criteria: your name, driver’s license number or PennDOT ID. Voila!

HOW TO CHANGE YOUR VOTER REGISTRATION INFORMATION IN PA

Did your address or name change since the last election? You can update the information on your voter registration by filling out a new voter registration application.

If you’re doing it online, click “Change of Name” or “Change of Address” on question No. 3 to be sent in the right direction. Question No. 10 on the printed-out form also gives you a chance to enter a new name and/or address.

HOW TO CHANGE YOUR POLITICAL PARTY IN PENNSYLVANIA

If you decide you want to change your party to Democrat, Republican, Green, Working Families, etc. … You can do that by filling out a new voter registration application. If you’re doing it online, click “Change of Party” on question No. 3. Question No. 3 on the printed-out form also gives you a chance to enter a new party.

In order to change your party and vote on Election Day, November 5, 2024, you must update this information 15 days before the election — by October 21, 2024.


VOTING BY MAIL IN PENNSYLVANIA

In Pennsylvania, you can begin voting 50 days before Election Day via mail-in ballot, absentee ballot or at a satellite election office.

No matter how you do it, the deadline to request a mail-in ballot for the November 5, 2024 general election is October 29, 2024.

HOW REQUEST A MAIL-IN BALLOT

Mail-in ballots became the way to vote for most people during Covid; the practice has stuck for some voters who want to get their vote in early, can’t make it in-person, or just prefer it that way.

If you would like to request a mail-in ballot, you can apply in a variety of ways.

  1. Apply for a mail-in ballot online with a valid PA driver’s license or photo I.D. from (PennDOT).
  2. Apply for a mail-in ballot by mail and send it to your county elections office.
  3. You can also apply in person at your county elections office.

Application accepted? You will receive a mail-in ballot with instructions from your county election office.

If you signed up to be on the annual mail-in voter list, you should be receiving a renewal application as early as mid-February. (You have to renew your request annually.)

This page answers any other questions you may have about mail-in voting in PA.

HOW TO REQUEST AN ABSENTEE BALLOT

You can request an absentee ballot in PA if you are going to be out of town on Election Day, or if you have an illness or disability that prevents you from going to the polls.

If you would like to request an absentee ballot, you can apply in a variety of ways.

    1. Apply for an absentee ballot online with a valid PA driver’s license or photo I.D. from (PennDOT).
    2. Apply for an absentee ballot by mail and send it to your county elections office.
    3. You can also apply in person at your county elections office.

WHERE TO RETURN MAIL-IN BALLOTS IN PHILLY

The state of Pennsylvania gives you several options for returning mail ballots:

  1. By mail. A few days before Election Day, drop your properly completed ballot in a mailbox or hand it to your neighborhood post office worker. Note: Your mailed ballot must be received by 8pm on Election Day. (So best bet to mail it the week before Election Day.)
  2. In person. Take it to your local County Board of Elections (which you can find here). These locations are typically open during regular business hours, from 8am to 5pm. In Philadelphia, the office is located in Room 142 in City Hall. You can call (215) 686-3469 for more information.
  3. Drop boxes. You can drop off your mail-in ballot at two dozen drop boxes located around Philadelphia. They are accessible 24 hours a day and constantly monitored by security cameras — but drop boxes stop receiving ballots on Election Day (that’s November 5!) at 8pm.

VOTING ON ELECTION DAY IN PHILLY

Here’s what you can expect on Election Day in Philadelphia this November, including where to find your polling place and voting district, and who’s running for office.

The general election is November 5, 2024.

WHEN ARE THE POLLS OPEN IN PHILADELPHIA? 

If you’re voting in person on Election Day, 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 after 8pm.

HOW TO FIND YOUR POLLING PLACE

Polling places are subject to change, so make sure you know where to go if you’re planning to vote in person. The process is easy. If you’re a Philadelphia resident, go here, and enter your street address. If you live outside Philly in PA, go here, to enter your address. Voila!

HOW TO FIND YOUR VOTING DISTRICT

Not sure what district you belong to? It’s confusing, we get it. Thankfully there’s an easy way to find out. If you’re a Philadelphia resident, go here and search by address. If you live in PA outside of Philadelphia, go here to search by address, municipality and county.

Good luck getting out the vote, Pennsylvania!


Lead support for Every Voice, Every Vote is provided by the William Penn Foundation, with additional funding from The Lenfest Institute, Peter and Judy Leone, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Harriet and Larry Weiss, and the Wyncote Foundation, among others.

MORE ON VOTING IN PHILADELPHIA AND PA

Photo courtesy Element5 Digital / Unsplash

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