PA Primary Election 2016: What You Need to Know Before Heading to the Polls


Good morning! It’s primary Election Day in Pennsylvania! If you registered to vote in this election, here is some need-to-know information:

When do I vote? In Pennsylvania, polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

Where do I vote? If you aren’t sure where your polling place is, click here and enter your information.

I am registered to vote, but will not be able to make it to the polls. Can I still cast a ballot? Unfortunately, not this close to the election. In the Keystone State, an application for an emergency absentee ballot (for voters dealing with unexpected sickness or disability) no later than by 5 p.m. the Friday prior to the election.

Do I need photo identification to vote? No. Pennsylvania’s voter ID law was deemed unconstitutional. However, if you are a first-time voter, you must present identification in order to vote. For more information on that, click here.

What is a provisional ballot and why might I need one? A provisional ballot is used to record a vote when there is some question regarding a voter’s eligibility. Voters who believe they are properly registered but do not appear on the poll book, first-time voters who do not have proper identification, and voters who are told by election officials that they are not eligible to vote should ask to cast a provisional ballot.

Where do I file an election-related complaint? Most of the issues voters have may be resolved by speaking with the judge of elections at your polling place. However, if you have a complaint about the regulation of Election Day activities, click here to submit.

What if I have a problem at the polls?  Common Cause Pennsylvania and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights offers Election Day protection services for voters throughout the state.

Voters can get assistance with:

  • locating their official polling place
  • verifying they are officially registered
  • reminding poll workers to check “supplemental poll books” if their name isn’t on the roll
  • getting help if they are improperly turned away from their polling place
  • obtaining an emergency ballot
  • securing a provisional ballot
  • alerting election officials of polls that opened late or close early
  • alerting election officials of voting machines malfunctioning
  • alerting election officials if voter suppression or intimidation activities are occurring

These services are being provided free – and voters who need assistance are urged to call:

Where can I follow the election results? Check your county elections website for results of the election.

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