PENNSYLVANIA (WHTM) — While many residents of Pennsylvania will be voting either by mail or by filling out an absentee ballot, many want to vote in person at their local polling place.
To start, all voting places in Pennsylvania are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. barring unforeseen court rulings to extend poll times, which is according to the Pennsylvania Department of State.
When you arrive at your polling place, you will check in with a poll worker. If you have voted at your polling location before, you do not need to bring an ID to vote, according to the Pennsylvania Guide on How to Vote. If you are voting at the polling place for the first time, you will need to bring an ID.
If you have signed up to vote by mail, but decided to vote in person, you are required to bring both your mail-in or absentee ballot and the outer return envelope to your polling place. If you do not bring either, you can only vote by provisional ballot, which records your vote while the county board of elections determines whether it can be counted.
When you arrive to vote at your local polling place, you will need to sign your name in the poll book. If your name is not in the poll book, but you believe that you are registered to vote, you may vote a provisional ballot.
If you do vote by means of a provisional ballot, the county board of elections will decide whether you were eligible to vote within seven days after an election. If you are considered to be eligible, your vote will be counted.
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The Pennsylvania Voter Guide states that voters have the right to assistance if they cannot read or write, cannot read the names on the ballots, have difficulty understanding English, or if they are blind disabled, or unable to operate the voting machine.
If voters want assistance, they must sign an assistance declaration, unless the poll book already indicates “assistance permitted.” Voters do have the right to refuse assistance, according to the Pennsylvania Voter Guide.
The people listed below are allowed inside or within 10 feet of the entrance to a polling place when voting is in progress:
- Precinct election officials
- Polling place clerks
- Machine inspectors
- Approved poll watchers
- No more than 10 persons in the process of voting
- Approved persons assisting voters
- Police officers in the act of voting or who have been called to the polling place to preserve the peace
Everyone else must remain at least 10 feet away from the entrance of a polling place.
In Pennsylvania, it is illegal for any person or corporation to intimidate, coerce, induce, or compel a person to vote or refrain from voting for either a candidate or issue.
If you have experienced intimidation at the polls, you should call your District Attorney’s Office and notify your County Board of Elections.
You can also submit a complaint to the Department of State via an online web form or by calling 1-877-VOTESPA (1-877-868-3772).