How do I vote?

Polls are open for in-person voting from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on election day. If there is a line (which usually happens only in presidential general elections) and you are in the line at 8 p.m., you will be allowed to vote.

WHAT WILL THE BALLOT LOOK LIKE?

To see what your ballot will look like, click here a few weeks before the next election and download the pdf with all specimen ballots and find your precinct. In a primary you will look only for the Dem ballot; in a general election, everyone uses the same ballot.

For 2017 positions on the ballot and Dem candidates, see here.

WHAT IS A SAMPLE BALLOT?

A sample ballot is any replica or reduced version of the official specimen ballot annotated to make recommendations to voters.

If you plan to distribute a sample ballot consisting of a copy of the specimen ballot altered to show recommended votes, before copying it be sure to 1) indicate who is distributing it (e.g., from Dem committeepersons in precinct X”) and write “Paid By + appropriate organization” at the bottom.

HOW DO I VOTE ABSENTEE?

See here.

CAN VOTERS WHO HAVE BEEN IN TROUBLE WITH THE LAW VOTE?

Yes, in most cases. The ones who can NOT vote are those who as of election day are imprisoned (or in a halfway house / alternative correctional facility / pre-release status) after conviction for a felony. Probation, parole, house arrest, and confinement for misdemeanors are not obstacles to voting. See full details here.

WILL I NEED AN ID TO VOTE?

The first time you vote in person after registering in a new precinct, you must bring currently valid identification (driver’s license, student ID card, utility bill, bank statement, etc.) With a first-time voter absentee vote application, send a photocopy of one of those items. In both cases, photo ID works best.

If not voting in person for the first time in your precinct, you do not need identification to vote, as long as you have a drivers license or Social Security number. (On Jan. 17, 2014, the Commonwealth Court struck down the Corbett voter ID law, which never took effect, as unconstitutional, discriminatory, and mismanaged, concluding that “the Voter ID Law renders Pennsylvania’s fundamental right to vote so difficult to exercise as to cause de facto disenfranchisement.”)

IMPORTANT DATES

Download the state publications “2017 Important Dates” (dates for elections, registration deadlines, absentee ballots, etc.) here: Important dates 2016.

WHAT IS A PROVISIONAL BALLOT?

You cast a provisional ballot, which may or not be counted, if you are turned down for a regular ballot. Obviously, not your first choice. This is why it’s important to be sure you know your correct polling place before you go to vote. Details provided by Chesco Voter Services, 11/15:

Provisional Ballot Regs:

25 P.S. §3050

A provisional ballot is used to record a vote when there is a question regarding a voter’s eligibility. The voter has the right to vote by provisional ballot if:

· Their name does not appear in the poll book or supplemental list and is not able to be determined their registration status immediately.

· The poll book indicates ID REQUIRED in the poll book signature block and the voter is unable to show proper ID (ID needed when first time voting in that precinct).

· If the voter is challenged based on their registration and they are unable to complete the Challenge Affidavit.

· The voter is accidentally in the wrong precinct and does not have enough time to vote at their correct precinct.

o Only those contests that match the voter’s original precinct ballot will be counted.

o If the voter “intentionally and willfully” went to the wrong precinct to try and cast a vote, it will not be counted. (this happens often when voters assume it is ok to try to vote in a different precinct because it is more convenient to them)

· If the voter uses a Provisional Ballot but fails to sign it, or if their signature is determined to be fraudulent or not match their registration record, it will not count.

*In all cases the JOE should call Voter Services before issuing a Provision ballot. VS will research the situation and determine the voter’s registration status first.