In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pennsylvania 2020 presidential primary election has been rescheduled to June 2, 2020.
New dates and deadlines
If you plan on voting at your polling location, voter registration applications need to be received at least 15 days before the upcoming election. The new deadline for Philadelphia residents to register for this year’s primary is May 18, 2020.
Mail-in or absentee ballots
You can also apply to vote by mail-in ballot. In Pennsylvania, you can request a mail-in ballot unless you qualify as an absentee voter, in which case you must vote by absentee ballot for the upcoming election. If you want to vote by mail-in or absentee ballot, the City’s Commissioner’s Office must receive your application by 5 p.m. on May 26, 2020.
Voting by mail-in or absentee ballots
As Philadelphia continues to respond to the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus, some voters may be cautious about visiting a polling place. All voters have the option to vote by mail-in ballot rather than going to their polling place on election day. You do NOT need to provide a reason or excuse if you want to use a mail-in ballot.
If you’re a voter with a valid PA Driver’s License or PennDOT ID number, you may apply with the online form. If you do not have one of these ID numbers, you will need to download a paper application from the Pennsylvania voter services website and mail it to the County Board of Elections.
Please note that you must be a registered voter to submit an application. If you have already applied for an absentee or mail-in ballot, you do NOT need to reapply.
Registering to vote
To register to vote in Philadelphia, you must be:
- A citizen of the United States for at least one month before the next election.
- A resident of Philadelphia and your election district for at least 30 days before the next election
- At least 18 years of age on or before the day of the next election.
You can register to vote online on the Department of State’s website. You can also choose to submit your application by mail or in-person delivery to your county voter registration office. Either way, the voter registration applications must be received by May 18, 2020.
Not sure if you are registered? You can check your voter registration status online.
Important dates and additional information
May 18 is the new deadline to register to vote in Pennsylvania.
May 26 is the last day for your county office to receive mail-in and absentee ballot applications.
June 2 is the day of the presidential primary election for Pennsylvania. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. As long as you are in line by 8 p.m., you will be able to vote. Voted mail-in and absentee ballots must also be returned by 8 p.m. on election day.
If you have any other questions, the Philadelphia City Commissioner’s website provides useful information for voters regarding upcoming elections. You can also visit VotesPA for any statewide updates and general information about voting in Pennsylvania.
It’s more important than ever to make sure that we as Philadelphians are staying home and following social distancing rules, so our city can set an example for the rest of the nation. But this does not mean you can’t make your voices heard – make sure to register to vote before the new deadlines!