VOTING FAQ

Important Dates

Election Day: November 3, 2020. Polls are open 7am-8pm

Last day to register to vote or change your party: October 19, 2020

Last day to update registration information: October 3, 2020

Last day to request a mail-in or absentee ballot: October 27, 2020 by 5:00PM

Last Day for the Elections Bureau to receive completed Mail-in or Absentee ballots: November 3, 2020 by 8:00PM


Contact the Delco Elections Bureau

Government Center Bldg., Ground Floor

201 W. Front St.

Media, PA 19063

Hotline: 610-891-VOTE (8683)

Fax: 610-892-0641

Email: DelcoElection@co.delaware.pa.us

https://www.delcopa.gov/vote

Hours of Operation:

Mon/Wed/Fri 8:30AM - 4:30PM

Tues/Thurs 8:30AM - 8:00 PM

Saturday 9AM - noon


Have a question about voting?

Ask it HERE and we'll do our best to research and post the answer on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Complete contact information and office hours for the Delaware County Elections Bureau is located on this page under "Contact the Delco Elections Bureau." We do not repeat the information throughout the FAQ.

General Voting/On Election Day

Who can I call if I have any questions about voting?

The Delaware County Election Bureau has a new one-stop hotline for all local voting questions: 1-610-891-VOTE (8683). The hotline is available M-F 8:30AM - 8:00PM and Sat. 9AM - 12 PM.

The PA Dems have a hotline and they are happy to help answer any questions you have. Please call 1-833-PAVOTES (833-728-6837).

How do I vote at the polls? What can I expect? What safety precautions will be taken?

  • Polls will be open 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

  • You must be a registered voter to vote on Election Day.

  • If you are a first time voter or it's your first time voting in your precinct, you will be required to show one of these forms of ID.

  • Expect lines. A limited number of people will be allowed inside at a time. If you are in line by 8:00 p.m. you will be allowed to vote.

  • All poll workers will be masked and gloved. Some poll workers may be wearing protective plastic shields.

  • All voters will be encouraged (but cannot be required) to wear a mask inside the polling site. Disposable masks and hand sanitizer will be available inside.

  • Poll workers will not be taking temperatures.

  • Voting is now done by paper ballot. Pens will be available for use and will be santized - or - bring your own black or blue ink pen.

  • An ADA touch screen with printer will be available for use.

It's Election Day and I have questions. I was denied the opportunity to vote at my polling place. I suspect voting fraud or irregularities. Who do I call?

1-877-VotesPA (1-877-868-3772) is a PA Department of State hotline that will be staffed on Election Day. Furthermore, if you feel that your voting rights were violated or you want to report suspected fraud or irregularies, you may do so through this hotline or by completing an online form.

Mail-In/Absentee Voting

When is the deadline for requesting a mail-in or absentee ballot?

For the General Election on November 3, the Delco Elections Bureau must receive your mail-in or absentee ballot request by 5PM on October 27, 2020.

How do I check if I already requested a mail-in or absentee ballot?

Go to http://votespa.com/mailballotstatus and fill in the requested information. If you have already applied or selected the "Annual Ballot Request" on an application earlier in the year, you will see a ballot status confirmation similar to the below screenshot.


What is the difference between Mail-In and Absentee ballots? Which one should I request?

Act 77 of 2019 introduced the "No-Excuse" Mail-in Ballot, that can be used for ANY reason. Absentee ballots are still available because they are written into the Commonwealth's Constitution.

  • You may request a Mail-In ballot for any reason.

  • You may request an Absentee ballot only if you meet the criteria for being out of state or ill/incapacited on Election Day. You may be required to provide a doctor's certification for an Absentee ballot if you are stating you are ill/incapacitated.

When in doubt, choose the Mail-In Ballot option.

How do I apply for a mail-in or absentee ballot?

You may visit VotesPA to request a mail-in or absentee ballot through an on-line form or to download a form that you can fill out and either mail or bring in-person to the Delco Elections Bureau.

Be sure to enter your name as it appears on your voter registration card (Susan instead of Sue, for instance).

If you apply online, an email address is required. This is used to update you on the status of your ballot. If you fill out a paper form, you can provide your email address to make sure you get these updates. You will be notified via email when the ballot request has been received and verified.

When you apply for a mail-in ballot, you have the option to be on the Annual Mail-in Ballot list. When you apply for a absentee ballot, you have the option to be on the Annual Absentee Ballot list.

I do not have a internet access or a printer at home. Can I still request a ballot or check the status of my ballot?

Yes! Contact the Delco Elections Bureau to request a paper application or inquire about ballot status.

What is an Annual Mail-in Ballot? Do I need to renew my mail-in ballot request each election?

The mail-in ballot appliction asks if you wish to be on the Annual Mail-in Ballot list.

If you select this option , you will automatically receive a mail in ballot for every election held that same calendar year. The following year, you will receive an application to renew your mail-in ballot preference. Annual mail-in ballot status does not automatically transfer from year to year.

If you do not select this option, you will need to submit a new application for a mail-in ballot the next time you wish to vote by mail.

What is an Annual Absentee Ballot?

The absentee ballot application asks if you wish to be on the Annual Absentee Ballot list. If you have a permanent illness or disability that requires you to vote via Absentee Ballot each election, the Annual Absentee Ballot option may be right for you.

If you select this option , you will automatically receive an absentee ballot for every election held that same calendar year. The following year, you will receive an application to renew your absentee ballot preference. Annual absentee ballot status does not automatically transfer from year to year.

If you do not select this option, you will need to submit a new application for an absentee ballot the next time you wish to vote by mail.

When will I receive my ballot?

There is on-going state-wide litigation about the ballot that is preventing the Delco Elections Bureau from printing and mailing ballots. Check back here for updates on the mailing date.

If you supplied an email address, you will receive an email when your ballot has been mailed. You can also check http://votespa.com/mailballotstatus . The "Ballot Mailed" field will be populated when your ballot has been mailed.

I don't want to go to the polls, but I also don't trust the mail. Do I have any options to vote?

Yes! Beginning Thursday, October 1, 2020, you may go to the Delco Elections Bureau to apply for, mark, and return a vote-by-mail ballot all in one stop. You may need to show proof of ID. To speed things up, bring your completed application for a mail-in or absentee ballot. You can print an application form and complete it in advance:

If you arrive at the Elections Bureau and do not have an application, one will be provided.

Don't forget to bring your list of endorsed candidates with you!

Allow approximately 15 minutes for your application to be processed, your ballot printed, and for you to complete the ballot.

There are also two satellite offices that provide early voting services, Please click here to check the most up-to-date hours for all three Voter Service Centers.

  • Chester City Hall , 1 E 4th St Chester, PA 19013

  • Human Services Office, 20 S. 69th Street, 4th Fl. Upper Darby, PA 19082

I have completed my mail-in/absentee ballot. How can I ensure my completed ballot is received and counted?

In addition,

  • You will not be able to bring your ballot to your polling place and give it to the poll workers. This option was only available by exception for the June 2020 primary.

  • Put it in the mail no later than October 20. If you provided an email address on your application, you will receive an email when it has been received back at the Elections Bureau. Or, check http://votespa.com/mailballotstatus . The "Ballot Received" field will be populated when your ballot has been received by the County.

If you choose to not vote in person, your mail-in or absentee ballot must be received by the Elections Bureau or deposited in a drop box no later than 8:00 PM on November 3, 2020 in order to be counted.

I live in an Assisted Living facility. Can someone turn my ballot in for me?

You may have someone put a mail-in or absentee ballot in the mail for you.

You may not have someone other than yourself put your ballot in a mail-in ballot drop box location. This could be considered "ballot harvesting" and your ballot could be challenged.

If you are disabled or incapacitated, someone may bring a mail-in or absentee ballot to the Delco Elections Bureau or one of the Voter Service Centers only if they follow these steps:

Step 1: Fill out your ballot, seal it in the privacy envelope, and then seal the privacy envelope in the outer envelope. The outer envelope must be signed as indicated in the instructions you received with your ballot.

Step 2: Print the Designation of Agent to Assist Disabled Voter in Voting by Absentee or Alternative Ballot form. Complete and sign the top section marked as "To be Completed by the Voter." Anyone you choose can serve as your Designated Agent, so long as they can accurately complete and sign the bottom section of the form (Step 3).

Step 3: Have your Designated Agent complete sign the bottom section of your form marked "To be Completed by the Designated Agent."

Step 4: Your Designated Agent should take the signed, sealed envelope containing your ballot and the fully completed form (see Steps 2 and 3) to the Delco Elections Bureau or one of the Voter Service Centers .

Step 5: Your Designated Agent should hand the completed form and the ballot to the person at the counter in the Delco Elections Bureau or one of the Voter Service Centers .

I have changed my mind and don't want to be on the Annual ballot list. Can I rescind my request for an Annual mail-In ballot?

Yes. If you selected the annual mail-in ballot option with your mail-in ballot application, you may cancel your annual mail-in ballot status by completing and returning this form to the Delaware County Elections Bureau.

I requested a mail-in or absentee ballot, but I have decided that I want to vote in person. Can I cancel my ballot request for this election and vote in person?

While you may cancel a request to be added to the Annual Mail-in Ballot list (see FAQ), it is not possible to cancel a mail-in ballot request for just one election. But, you do not have to return the mail-in/absentee ballot. To vote in person after requesting a mail-in ballot, bring the ballot, the security envelope and the outer envelope with you to your polling place. The Judge of Elections will take the ballot from you and "spoil it". You will need to sign a statement attesting to the spoiling of your ballot. Then you will be able to vote via a regular ballot.

It is very important that you bring not just your ballot but also both envelopes with you if you want to vote this way.

I completed my mail-in ballot and sealed it up. But, I prefer to vote in person. Can I vote at the polls if I don't mail it in?

The mail-in ballot process is safe and can be trusted. While we encourage you to either mail in your ballot, drop it in a mail-in ballot box, or bring it to a voter services center, the answer is Yes. Even if you complete your ballot and seal up the envelopes, you are allowed to bring it to the polls and ask the Judge of Elections to "spoil it". The JOE will need to open it to ensure that all the envelopes are present and you will need to sign an affidavit stating you are turning in your ballot for "spoiling". Then, you may vote with a regular ballot.

I requested a mail-in or absentee ballot, but I have not received it and it is now Election Day. What should I do?

Go to your polling place. The poll book should show that you were sent a ballot, but it should also show that a completed ballot has not been received back at the Elections Bureau. As long as both of these are true, the Judge of Elections should allow you to vote via a Provisional Ballot. You will not be able to vote via a Regular Ballot because the Elections Bureau must verify that they do not already have a completed ballot from you that arrived by 8pm that day before they count your Provisional Ballot. This ensures that you are not allowed to vote twice.

My completed mail-in/absentee ballot was received by the Elections Bureau. But, I want to change my vote. May I vote again or cancel my voted ballot?

No. Once the Elections Bureau has received your completed ballot, you may not cancel your ballot or change your vote.

Ballot Validation

If my ballot is received, will it necessarily be counted?

If your ballot is received and the OUTER envelope has been validated, the Ballot Received date will be updated. You can check the status at http://votespa.com/mailballotstatus . The "Ballot Received" field will be populated.

However, this is the only check that can be done until Election Day. On Election Day, the envelope will be opened. If the Secrecy Envelope is missing or has been written on, the ballot will not be counted, and there is nothing the Elections Bureau can do to correct this issue . Therefore, please be sure to follow the below instructions for completing your mail-in or absentee ballot.


Can my ballot be invalidated because the signature on the outer envelope does not match my DMV record or some other evaluation of the outer envelope?

Regarding the signature, the matter was settled by the PA Department of State after a lawsuit was filed by the League of Women Voters and the Urban League of Pittsburgh. It was determined that ballots will not be invalidated due to a signature mismatch.

You must complete the outer envelope, which includes your printed name and date in addition to your signature. Failure to complete the affadavit could cause issues. The Bureau of Elections may try to contact voters to correct issues with the outer envelope. However, this is dependent on the availability of staff and time so it is in everyone's best interest to take your time completing the ballot and to fill out the affadavit completely and correctly.

I accidentally wrote my Date of Birth on the outer envelope of my ballot where I was supposed to write today's date. What should I do?

You may cross out your birth date and write today's date on the outer envelope.

If I don't complete my ballot or it has stray marks on it, will it be counted?

If you return a ballot that has not been filled out, this is the equivalent of a no-vote. It will still be scanned, but no votes will be recorded since no votes were cast. If the ballot itself has a stray mark on it (like your pen dropped), it will not be invalidated.

If you make a mistake on your ballot, you have a few options.

  • If you are voting in person ask the Judge of Elections for a new ballot. The Judge will take your old ballot, destroy it, and give you a new one.

  • If you are voting by mail, you must go to one of the voter services centers in person and ask for a new ballot. See the above FAQ section for information on where to find the three service centers.