On Nov. 2, Philadelphians will head to the polls to cast ballots for the district attorney, city controller and a slate of judges in the 2021 general election, The Temple News reported.
To participate in the general election, Philadelphians must have been registered to vote by Oct. 18. New voters will receive a voter registration card in the mail about 14 days after submitting their registration application, which will provide details about their assigned polling place, The Philadelphia Citizen reported.
Voters who cannot travel to their polling place for the general election can visit their county’s election website to learn about ways to request absentee ballots.
Here’s what you need to know about voting in the Nov. 2 general election.
Voting in person
Polls will be open for in-person voting from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., according to the Philadelphia City Commissioners’ website. Any voter standing in line by 8 p.m. will be allowed to vote, even if they enter the voting booth past the cutoff time, The Philadelphia Citizen reported.
Philadelphians can find their closest polling location using the Philadelphia City Commissioners’ atlas. Multiple polling places will be open near Temple University’s Main Campus, like Bright Hope Baptist Church on 12th Street near Cecil B. Moore Avenue, Norris Homes on 11th Street near Berks and Beckett Life Center located on 16th Street near Jefferson.
Voters are encouraged to wear masks and social distance while voting in person, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website. The CDC recommends anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has come in close contact with someone with the virus to stay home.
Voting by mail
Philadelphia voters can opt to vote by mail, instead of in person, if they submit an application requesting a mail-in ballot by 5 p.m. on Oct. 26.
When completing their mail-in ballots, voters must use a blue or black pen to completely fill in the bubble next to the candidate of their choice. Once the ballot is filled out, voters must seal it inside the secrecy envelope the ballot came with. The secrecy envelope can then be placed and sealed in the pre-addressed outer return envelope, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State’s website.
Voters must sign and date the declaration statement on the outer return envelope for their ballot to be counted, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State’s website.
Besides mailing their ballots, voters can choose to hand-deliver their completed mail-in ballot to the county elections office in Room 142 of City Hall or a ballot dropbox. Ballot dropboxes are located throughout the city, like at Eastern State Penitentiary on Fairmount Avenue near 22nd Street and Shissler Recreation Center on Blair Street near Norris.
The county election board will only count the mail-in ballots they receive by 8 p.m. on Nov. 2, regardless of if they were mailed in or hand-delivered, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State’s website.