Voting at the Polls: What to Expect 

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Are you voting for the first time in 2021? If so, congratulations! Exercising your right to vote is a powerful part of our democracy, but you might not know what to expectWe’ve talked about mail-in ballots and the different ways of voting in 2021, but what is it like to vote in-person at the polls? 

Polls are open in Pennsylvania on November 2nd from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM, and you can arrive any time during that window. If you are in line before or at the time the polls close, you will be allowed to cast your vote. To find your polling place, use this online form.  

  • Check-In: When you arrive at your polling place, check in with a poll worker. If you are a firsttime voter, or this is your first time voting at this location, they will ask you to present an approved form of ID. You will sign the voter roster list next to your name.
    • If you have any special needs, tell a poll worker so they can accommodate you. Learn more about accessible voting at 
    • Voting Tip: If at any point you have questions, ask a poll worker! They are there to help make sure your ballot is cast properly.  
  • Mark Your ballot:You will either be given a paper ballot to fill in by hand, or a poll worker will show you to an available ballot marking device. Click the links here to learn more about each method, and watch the video below to learn more about the ballot marking devices used in Allegheny County. 
    • Voting Tip: Remember that voting is not a test! You are allowed (and encouraged) to bring a voting plan or voting guide into the polls with you. Read our FAQ about researching candidates and make a list of who you plan to vote for before heading to the polls. 
  • Cast Your ballot: If you filled out a paper ballot by hand, review your selections and submit your ballot by inserting it into the ballot box. If you used a ballot marking device, review your selections, touch PRINT CARD to print your ballot, and submit your ballot by inserting it into the ballot box. 
    • Voting Tip: If you make an error on your ballot, alert a poll worker and they can help you start over.  
  • Feel Accomplished! You just voted!  


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