In March, Governor Wolf signed Act 12 of 2020 into law which moved the General Primary Election to June 2, 2020. The act also allows for up to a 60% reduction of polling places through the consolidation of two or more polling places which may be in the same building. Additional changes could also be authorized by the Department of State.
Due to concerns related to holding an in-person election in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Division of Elections is mailing mail-in ballot applications to every registered, eligible voter in Allegheny County who has not already submitted an application. That mailing is expected to go out in the first few weeks of May. Voters don’t have to wait to receive an application but can go online now to VotesPA and apply online for a mail-in ballot.
Over the past few months, the county has conducted a robust marketing and advertising campaign to reach as many voters as possible to make them aware of the mail-in option. A few weeks ago, the County Executive also directed Elections to step-up the targeted advertising for mail-in voting.
During its April 23 meeting, the Board of Elections considered and approved a resolution calling for further consolidation of polling locations. The resolution was submitted to the Department of State on April 28 along with an outline of a plan for the consolidation of present polling places into likely 200-300 locations.
There will be no fewer than one polling place per municipality, with the exception of the City of Pittsburgh which will have no fewer than nine polling places. The expectation is that in larger municipalities, there will be multiple polling places, but work will be done to provide that they are housed within the same location. As appropriate, additional or alternate locations will also be identified by Elections to further the goal of physical distancing when a large volume of in-person voters are expected. Each location selected will have sufficient space, parking and handicapped access and will be appropriately equipped with ballot marking devices for ADA voter use.
Continuing correspondence and communication will be provided to the Department of State and the public so that there is a full understanding of the polling places being utilized. A related communications plans is also being developed, and this webpage will be updated on a continual basis.
Under normal circumstances, Allegheny County utilizes 1,323 polling places and approximately 6,500 elected and appointed poll workers. Additional staff and resources are needed for overall election operations.
The PA Department of State has issued guidance related to the Use of Facilities as Polling Places during COVID-19. Vote by mail applications need to be received by May 26, and submitted by June 2
- Need to verify that you’re registered to vote, or your party affiliation? Check your Voter Registration Status.
- Want to see the ballot now? View your Sample Ballot by entering your municipality, ward and district.
- Applied for your absentee or mail-in ballot, and want to check on where it is? Use this Ballot Tracking tool.
- This link also allows you track your completed ballot once you mail it back to the office. When received, the status will be listed as “Vote Recorded.”
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