What you need to know about how to vote today

Polls and election offices are open for voters to cast ballots in person or drop off mail-in ballots.

Voters wait in line outside of the Liacouras Center satellite election office on Oct. 26. | COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Pennsylvania, a swing state with 20 electoral votes, could play a major role in determining this presidential election. Here is what you need to know about voting today. 

Voting in person

Polling places will open at 7 a.m. on Election Day, but voters can arrive earlier. Any voter standing in line by 8 p.m. will be allowed to vote, and voters who requested a mail-in ballot but did not receive one can still vote in person, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Pennsylvania voters can look up their nearest polling place using an online search tool created by the Pennsylvania Department of State. 

Four of the polling locations closest to Temple University’s Main Campus are at the Tanner Duckrey School on Diamond Street near 15th, Amos Recreation Center on 16th Street near Berks, George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science on Norris Street near 16th and Norris Apartments on 11th Street near Berks. 

The Pennsylvania Department of State recommends that people voting in person on Election Day wear masks, practice social distancing and sanitize their hands. Voters are also encouraged to bring their own black- or blue-ink pen to limit the number of shared surfaces they touch. 

Voters who were exposed to COVID-19 or are showing symptoms should contact their county elections office for an emergency absentee ballot, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. 

If you have a mail-in ballot

Voters who want to return their mail-in ballots today can seal their completed form inside the white secrecy envelope the ballot came with. The white secrecy envelope can then be placed inside the pre-addressed outer return envelope.

Voters must sign the declaration statement on the outside of the pre-addressed outer return envelope for their vote to be counted.

Voters who missed the Oct. 27 deadline to request a mail-in ballot can request an emergency absentee ballot at any point before 8 p.m. today.

Voters can hand-deliver their mail-in ballots to their county election office, ballot drop boxes and other designated sites before 8 p.m. today. The ballot drop-off locations closest to Temple’s Main Campus are the Liacouras Center on Broad Street near Montgomery and the outdoor dropbox at Eastern State Penitentiary, located on Fairmount Avenue near Corinthian.

All satellite election offices are open until 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Voters can track the status of their mail-in or absentee ballots through an online tool created by the Pennsylvania Department of State.

In compliance with the city’s COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, the Liacouras Center satellite election office is requiring people to check in at a hand sanitizing station and state if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. They will be provided with a mask if they do not have one, The Temple News reported.

How your vote will be counted

Philadelphia’s county election offices began counting mail-in ballots received before Nov. 3 at 7 a.m. today. 

County election offices will count all mail-in ballots received by 5 p.m. on Nov. 6 as long as they were postmarked by Nov. 3, meaning it could take days to determine the results of the election, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported

Temple’s Tuttleman Counseling Services suggests limiting social media use, eating nutritious foods, doing activities to feel grounded and connecting with friends and family to cope with election stress.

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