get tips to safely exercise your right to vote in the 2020 election

As we head into Election Day on Tuesday, November 3, it is important that every person who would like to safely exercise their right to vote has the information needed.

While our world-class organization has employees, patients, and partners across New York and Maryland, our footprint is primarily in Pennsylvania. If you reside in the Commonwealth and plan on voting in the upcoming election, here is what you need to know.

When is the deadline to register to vote in Pennsylvania?

Monday, October 19 is the last day to register before Election Day. You can submit your application several ways, including through this website and by mail. You can also go online to check your registration status by inputting your name, Driver’s License, or PennDOT ID.

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What is the difference between mail-in ballots and absentee ballots?

Although there has been some confusion and controversy around mail-in ballots, we believe they offer a safe and secure method to cast your vote.

Mail-in ballots are for any qualified voter, and a reason for voting this way is not necessary.

Absentee ballots are for voters who plan to be out of the municipality on election day, or those who have a disability or illness. A reason for this ballot is required.

When is the deadline to submit a mail-in ballot or absentee ballot?

For both mail-in and absentee ballots, county election offices must receive completed applications by no later than 5 p.m. on Tuesday, October 27. If you’re a voter with a valid PA Driver’s License or PennDOT ID number, then you may apply online (here), mail in, or deliver your application to your county office. You may also submit an online request to have a form mailed to you.

What do I do once my mail-in ballot comes in the mail?

Once your application for a mail-in ballot is accepted, you will receive a mail-in ballot with instructions. To cast your vote, simply mark your ballot, place it in the secrecy envelope, and then put that into the larger, official envelope. Make sure to sign the declaration on the back of the outer envelope (do not write anything on the secrecy envelope), and return your ballot by mail or in person to the county election office by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3. Ballots that are postmarked by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day and received in county offices by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 6 will be considered on time.

Is it safe to vote in person during COVID-19?

Voting in person is still an option for the upcoming election, even during COVID-19.

For anyone who would like to vote in person, polling locations can be found by visiting this website. Remember to follow the recommendations of public health officials and UPMC experts. Wear a mask and maintain a safe social distance.


Editor's Note: This article was originally published on , and was last reviewed on .

About Government Advocacy

UPMC is a world-renowned health care provider and insurer headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Learn about UPMC’s position on public health issues and gain a better understanding of the initiatives that advance the health care industry.