Vote from the Comfort and Safety of Your Living Room
Voting by mail without having to provide a reason is not new to voters in some other states. However, it is new to Pennsylvanians. Governor Wolf signed Act 77 into law on October 31, 2019, a voting reform law that includes mail-in voting.
This powerful way to vote has come under attack for two reasons: (1) It's convenient, and (2) You get to vote early. Now, doesn't that sound like a winning combination?
Mail-in Voting Step-by-Step
Step One - You Need to Be Registered to Vote
The Deadline for voter registration has passed — Monday, October 19th, 2020, at 11:59 p.m.
Step 2 - Apply
- The application deadline has passed—Tuesday, October 27th, 2020, at 5:00 p.m.
- If your ballot was approved, but you need a replacement or never received a ballot, you may visit a Satellite Voting Center to obtain a ballot.
Step Three - Mark Your Ballot
You will need to mark your candidate selections with a black or dark blue pen after you receive your ballot from the county. Tip: Test your pen before you mark up your ballot.
Keep your ballot clean. Only fill in the ovals. Don't place any other marks or make notes on your ballot.
Check out our Offices & Ballot Questions page to learn what's on the ballot, so you can decide your choices before your ballot arrives.
October 29th to November 3rd - DO NOT MAIL YOUR BALLOT. Postal Delays May Impact Your Ballot Being Counted!
Deadlines - Keeping it REAL:
Court challenges may arise over postmarks. Be safe. Make sure your ballot is delivered to the City's by Election Day, November 3rd.
In-person Deadline: Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020, before 8:00 p.m
U.S. Mail: State Officials do not recommend that Pennsylvania voters mail their ballots after October 29th.
Take those steps to avoid your ballot being questioned.
- Place the voted ballot in the white secrecy envelope. Keep your security envelope clean. Do not write on it!!!!
- Then, place that envelope into the postage-paid envelope. Keep the mailing envelope (declaration) clean. Only fill out the following sections.
- Sign and date the postage-paid envelope next to the 'X' in the Declaration section.
- If you're sick and disabled and someone else filled out your ballot, they must sign and date the envelope under the assistance section.
If you change your mind about voting with a mail-in ballot or mailed your ballot very close to Election Day, take a look at our FAQ page for more details.
- We highly recommend dropping your ballot off at an Early Voting Site or a 24/7 secure Dropbox.
- If you cannot drop it off, you may want to consider going to the poll on Nov. 3rd and voting on a provisional ballot.
Canceled Ballot - Something Went Wrong
If you received a notice from the Election Office that your ballot has been canceled for the following reasons
- No Signature on the mailing Envelope
- No Secrecy Envelope (You placed you ballot directly into the mailing envelope and forgot to put it in the white security envelope first)
- Your ballot could not be delivered to you
You have TWO choices:
Get Official Updates about Canceled Ballots
The news about canceled ballots is just that new. Check Philadelphia's official voting website for updates.
Sick, Disabled, or Traveling
You could be eligible for an Emergency Absentee Ballot if you are unable to go to the poll on Nov. 3rd and did not apply for a regular mail-in or absentee ballot.
See our FAQ page for more details.
Check the Status of Your Ballot
You may use your name and birthdate to check on the progress of your application and ballot throughout the entire voting process.
If you mail your ballot too close to the Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020, 8 p.m. deadline, you may want to check the Election Ballot Status up to Election Day morning to determine if you need to prepare to vote in person.
We've provided images and details about ballot statues on our Check Reg & Ballot Status page.
Track Your Ballot
Type in your name and birthdate to check your ballot's progress.
Ballots Need Further ID to Be Counted - Deadline Thursday, November 12th, 2020
Approximately one thousand ballots were received without enough identification to process them. Philadelphia's Board of Elections has published a list. Please check the list to see if you or a friend need to submit a picture of your ID.
Instructions from Philadelphia's Commissioners Office
"Affected voters (including those who previously submitted only a Driver’s License number or SSN) should either submit a photocopy or picture of an acceptable photo ID to email@example.com or via fax to(215) 686-3398." Check the City's website for more info.>>
Note: The list on the City's website is in Microsoft Excel format. We have created a .pdf file of the list for people who do not own a copy of that software. Download the .pdf.>>