PA Dems Voter Assistance Hotline
The Pennsylvania Democratic Party is running a Voter Hotline. You can call 1-833-728-6837 to ask questions about voting in 2020. The hotline is currently staffed Monday through Saturday; they aspire to adding Sunday shifts as well.
Below you will find information on these topics:
- Annual request
- No take-backs!
EARLY VOTING IN PERSON
- Fail-safe for mail-in voters
VOTING IN PERSON on Election Day, Nov. 3, 2020
- How, when, where
- Finding your voting location
- When is ID needed?
- What ID is valid
REGISTERING TO VOTE
- How, when, where
- Checking your registration status
Submitting a formal complaint
APPLYING to receive a ballot in the mail:
VotesPA gives all the rules and regulations plus step-by-step guides for applying to receive a mail-in ballot electronically, or with a paper application, or in person.
- All REGISTERED voters in PA are eligible to apply for a mail-in ballot. The first 3 questions on the application should be answered “no.”
- You are required to submit a photocopy of a “valid” ID along with your application. Valid ID includes:
PA driver’s license #
Last 4 digits SS#
Lacking any of the above? VotesPA offers photo ID options.
- APPLY RIGHT NOW. As early as you possibly can. Ignore the deviously late application deadline: 7 days before each election. It’s a voter suppression trap. It takes TIME to approve your application, get your own county’s ballot in the mail to you, fill out the ballot, return the ballot, deliver the ballot to the Election Bureau by Election Day. If it is late, it will not get counted.
SUBMITTING your mail ballot:
COVID + Trump lies and tricks = Voters need MULTIPLE ways to submit the ballots they receive in the mail. In 2020, Delco is offering multiple ways.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that mail-in ballots that are postmarked Nov. 3 but arrive at the county Election Bureau after Nov. 3, can be counted if they arrive before 5:00 p.m. on Nov. 6. As well, mail-in ballots that lack a postmark or have an indecipherable postmark can be counted up until Nov. 6
- This is not a license to procrastinate. It’s a safeguard against USPS delays.
- It is still very important that you get your mail-in ballot submitting as early as possible.
The U.S. Postal Service is one way to submit your mail ballot. In a non-COVID, non-Trump election, it is probably a fine way – if you submit it at least 2 weeks before the election!
- This year, consider alternatives to the USPS if you cannot complete your ballot before October 15 (i.e. 3 weeks before you vote Trump out of the White House).
Delaware County offers three other options for personally handing in your mail ballot:
- Hand deliver the ballot to the County Election Bureau by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. Where: Government Center, Ground Floor, 201 Front St., Media, PA. Hours of operation: M-F, 8:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m. Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – Noon. The Election Bureau will receive mail-in ballots after September 20.
- Personally deposit your ballot in any Delaware County Voter Dropbox. You must deposit your mail ballot with your own hands. It is illegal to handle mail for others. We will post Dropbox locations by late September here, on our Home page, and on our Facebook page.
- Visit a satellite Voter Services Center to hand deliver your mail-in ballot. By late September, Delco will open an “over-the-counter” service center in Upper Darby. Where: Delco Human Services Office, 20 S. 69th Street (directly across West Chester Pike from the 69th Street SEPTA station) Hours of operation: M-F, 7:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. We will announce the opening of this (and any other) Voter Services Center here, on our Home page, and on our Facebook page.
See Voting Early below for a fail-safe if your mail-in ballot does not arrive by October 15.
TRACKING your mail-in ballot application and ballot
On Ballot Tracker, you can track the status of your ballot application and, later, the progress of your ballot through the system.
Tracking your mail-in ballot application: Allow two weeks for your application to be logged into the slow-but-secure SURE data system.
- If Ballot Tracker says “We are unable to match your information with our records,” that does not mean your application has been lost. It means it has not been logged.
- If more than two weeks have elapsed since you submitted your application, and the Ballot Tracker response is still “We are unable to match your information with our records,” CALL or email the Delco Election Bureau.
- Phone: 610-891-4673 Email: DelcoElection@co.delaware.pa.us
- Hiring at the Bureau is supposed to mean we will get someone on the phone or receive a timely email. Be persistent while remembering that they are working hard in tough times.
Tracking your mail-in ballot: Once Ballot Tracker says your application has been “received” and “processed” you can check on when your ballot was mailed.
- Again, give it some time.
- But if your application was processed by Sept. 1 and you have not received your ballot by Oct. 4 (at the latest), Contact the Delco Election Bureau. Phone: 610-891-4673 Email: DelcoElection@co.delaware.pa.us
CANCELLING your mail-in Ballot
If you decide you want to vote in person on Election Day, you may cancel your application for a mail-in ballot by doing TWO things: first, go to this Delaware County’s Elections Bureau page. Print and fill out the form that comes up with this link. THEN, on a separate page, type and print out this note: “I wish to cancel my mail-in ballot application for the November, 2020 election.” Include your address and date of birth. SIGN IT and include it with the form you printed and completed. Place the form and your brief letter into an envelope with the Delco Election Bureau, Government Center, Ground Floor, 201 W. Front St., Media, PA 19063. Stamp it and mail it. ASAP.
SPOILING a mail-in ballot?????
It’s November 3. You are jolted out of bed with the realization that you did not mail in your ballot and did not submit it to a Drop Box or to a Voter Services Center. You remember Michelle Obama saying that Democrats lost 2016 swing states by just 2 votes per precinct. YOURS is one of those votes! What to do?
Find your precinct’s Voting Location. Take your entire, un-sent mail ballot “package” (ballot plus both envelopes) to your voting location. In front of the Judge of Elections, you will “spoil” (i.e. destroy) your mail ballot and envelopes. You can then cast a regular vote at the polls.
Whew. You just saved American democracy.
Annual Request to Vote from Home. Whether you apply for a mail-in ballot or an absentee ballot, whether online or on paper, your Ballot Request Application will let you make an “annual mail-in ballot request.” That is a request to automatically get ballots for the rest of the calendar year, and NOT have to submit a ballot request application for each election that year.
No take-backs. If you submit your ballot by mail or early in person, you may not change your vote on election day. The vote you submit early is absolutely final.
VOTING EARLY, IN PERSON
Starting in late September, you will be able to go to the County Election Bureau or a Delco Voter Services Center, ask for a ballot, fill out a ballot, and submit the ballot right then and there. See “Submitting Mail-in Ballot” above for addresses.
- You must ALREADY be registered to vote. See “Registering to Vote” below for how-to’s.
- When the County is ready to facilitate early voting, we will announce on this site, on our Home page, and on our Facebook page.
Fail-safe for mail-in voters If you applied for a mail ballot, but it’s after October 15 and your mail ballot has not arrived, you can go to the Delco Election Bureau or a Voter Services Center. Report your mail ballot is late. They will void that mail ballot and give you a ballot to fulfill and submit on the spot.
- Fraud-protected: the PA voting system will not allow a person to vote more than once. Your voter registration number is linked to any ballot you cast, and the system will toss out a second ballot associated with your number.
VOTING IN PERSON on Election Day, Nov. 3, 2020
All poll workers will be masked, gloved, and wearing protective plastic shields. All voters will be encouraged (but cannot be required) to wear a mask inside the polling site.
- You must be registered to vote two weeks before election day. See “Registering to Vote” below.
- Polls will be open 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. If you are in the socially-distanced line at 8:00 p.m. you will be allowed to vote.
FINDING your voting location:
SIX of Haverford Township’s 36 voting locations are moving in order to protect the safety of voters and poll workers.
Visit Voting Locations for addresses of voting locations in Haverford Township by ward and precinct.
You can locate polling sites everywhere in Pennsylvania by visiting PA Voter Services.
Do I Need an ID to Vote?
Only first time voters or those voting for the first time in a particular precinct will need to show ID, but it does not need to be a photo ID. If you do not have a photo ID, you can use a non-photo identification that includes your name and address.
Photo ID that will be accepted at your voting location include:
- Pennsylvania driver’s license or PennDOT ID card
- ID issued by any Commonwealth agency
- ID issued by the U.S. Government
- U.S. passport
- U.S. Armed Forces ID
- Student ID
- Employee ID
Approved forms of non-photo ID include:
- Confirmation issued by the County Voter Registration Office
- Non-photo ID issued by the Commonwealth
- Non-photo ID issued by the U.S. Government
- Firearm permit
- Current utility bill
- Current bank statement
- Current paycheck
- Government check
If you want to obtain a Photo ID: Go to PennDOT’s Driver’s License Center.
What is a provisional ballot?
Under certain circumstances (listed below), a voter will be permitted to cast a provisional ballot at that voter’s polling place. Each ballot will be examined within three days of the election to determine if the person casting the ballot was, in fact, eligible to vote. If so, that provisional ballot will be counted as a regular vote.
Why would I need to cast a provisional ballot?
Voters will be given the opportunity to cast a provisional ballot at their polling place under the following circumstances:
- The mail-in ballot applicant did not receive a ballot on time and did not visit a Voter Services Center before Nov. 3 to vote early.
- The first time voter cannot produce an approved form of identification (see list above).
- The would-be voter believes s/he registered and eligible, but the would-be voter’s name does not appear on the election district register and the election officials at the polling place cannot determine the individual’s voter status.
- An election official at the polling place challenges the voter’s eligibility to vote.
- Learn more about provisional ballots from PA Dept of State.
Applying for an Absentee Ballot
VotesPA gives all the rules and regulations plus step-by-step guides for applying to receive an absentee ballot electronically, or with a paper application, or in person.
- Before PA had mail-in ballots, absentee ballots were available only to those whose health prevented them from going to the polls, those who would be out of town on election day, and members of the military posted away from where they are registered to vote.
There is NO DIFFERENCE between a mail-in ballot and an absentee ballot. The only reason PA retained the term “absentee ballot” is that that term is in the state constitution and changing it would be an unnecessary hassle.
The absentee ballot application has one distinction: it sometimes requires that you provide a doctor’s note certifying to your health constraints.
If you are in doubt about which ballot to apply for, the wise choice is the mail-in ballot. No doctor required!
Registering to Vote
Visit VotesPA for guidance on the “4 convenient ways to register to vote or update your registration.”
- Deadline for registering to vote or changing party registration: 15 days before each election.
- You can fill out a paper registration form at the Delaware County Voter Registration Office, Government Center Building, Ground Floor, 201 W. Front Street, Media PA (610) 891-4659.
Checking the status of your Voter Registration
If you want to make sure your voter registration has the correct name, address, or other personal information, visit the Pennsylvania Dept of State’s Voter Services.
What if I have a complaint?
Voters who believe that a state or local official or employee has violated provisions of the U.S. Help America Vote Act of 2002* have the right to file a complaint with the state Bureau of Elections and have that complaint considered, ruled on, and resolved within 90 days. The following are examples of the types of circumstances under which a complaint should be filed:
- You are denied the opportunity to cast a provisional ballot if your voting status is challenged.
- You believe that an election official or employee has violated the requirement that a first-time voter present an approved form of ID at the polling place.
- You believe the information that is required to be posted at the polling place is incomplete, missing, or inaccessible to you.
Attorneys are on hand at the Delco Bureau of Elections to answer your questions or complaints. (610) 891-4659.
Where do I get a Complaint Form?
Via the PA Department of State website
Via email request to RA-BCEL@state.pa.us
Or written request for a form:
The Bureau of Elections
210 North Office Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120
*The federal Help America Vote Act of 2002 as well as Pennsylvania’s related laws is intended to ensure that every person who is eligible to vote (and who appears at the appropriate polling place) is given the opportunity to do so and that every voter’s ballot is counted. It also aims to maintain the nation’s low occurrences of voter fraud. The law’s specifics are outlined by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.