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Voting at the Polls: What to Expect 

Exercising your right to vote is a powerful part of our democracy, but you might not know what to expect if you’ve never voted. So let’s talk about what it’s like to vote in person at your polling location.  

Before Election Day, ensure you are registered to vote and have the address of your polling place. 

Polls are open in Pennsylvania on Election Day from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM, and you can arrive any time during that window. If you are in line when the polls close, stay in line. You are entitled to vote.

  • Check-In. Check-in with a poll worker when you arrive at your polling place.  
      • Show ID. If you are a first–time voter, or this is your first time voting at this location, you’ll need to present an approved form of ID.  
      • Sign the roster. Sign the voter roster list next to your name.  
      • Request accommodations. If you need any accommodations, tell a poll worker so they can help. Learn more about accessible voting at  
  • Mark Your ballot. You will be given a paper ballot to fill in by hand, or a poll worker will show you to an available ballot marking device. Learn more about Allegheny County’s Voting Systems.  
  • Cast Your ballot: If you filled out a paper ballot by hand, review your selections and submit your vote by inserting your paper ballot into the ballot scanner. If you used a ballot marking device, review your choices, touch PRINT CARD to print your ballot, and submit it by inserting it into the ballot scanner.  
  • Feel Accomplished! You just voted!   

Voting Tips:

  • If at any point you have questions, ask a poll worker! They can help you cast your ballot correctly.
  • 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.
  • If you make an error on your ballot, alert a poll worker, and they can help you start over.

Note: As a publicly-funded institution, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and its employees cannot express opinions, actively or passively advocate for a candidate or cause, or try to sway potential voters one way or the other. As a 501c3 nonprofit organization defined by the IRS, CLP and its employees are prohibited from engaging “in partisan activities, including but not limited to interventions in support or against any candidate for public office.” Our goal is to provide balanced, unbiased information to our community through displays, programs, and resources. 

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