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From the archives 2021

When do polls open in Pa.? All the information you need for the 2021 Pa. election day

by Colin Deppen of Spotlight PA |

When do polls open in Pa.? Everything you need to know to vote in the 2021 election in Pennsylvania
Amanda Berg / For Spotlight PA

Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. Sign up for our free newsletters.

The 2021 Pennsylvania election is here, and Spotlight PA wants to make sure you have everything you need to vote, starting with when polls open in the state and how to find your polling location. Here’s answers to our most frequently asked questions:

  • When do polls open in Pa.? 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. *If you’re in line by 8 p.m., you can vote.

  • Where do I vote? Confirm your polling location here.

  • Am I registered to vote? Check here.

  • Do I need a photo ID? Only if you’re voting at a polling place for the first time.

  • What about my mail ballot? The county elections office needs to receive it by 8 p.m. on Election Day (aka Tuesday, Nov. 2). The postmark doesn’t count! If you haven’t already mailed it, you need to drop it off in person at your county elections office. Find the location here.

  • Are drop-boxes available? Yes, but availability depends on location. Philadelphia, for example, has more than a dozen. Allegheny County has just one. Find a definitive list here.

  • What’s a “naked” ballot? Mail ballots come with two envelopes. A “naked” mail ballot is missing its inner secrecy envelope and won’t be counted under Pennsylvania law. Follow these instructions carefully.

  • Can I check the status of my mail ballot once it’s submitted? Indeed. Just enter your name, date of birth, and county at the Department of State’s “Election Ballot Status” page here.

  • What else should I know? Check Spotlight PA’s last-minute election guide for more.

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