As we approach a pivotal point in American history, how will you vote?
2020 has certainly been a year for the history books, starting with WWIII memes, then forest fires, the novel coronavirus, civil unrest, more forest fires, and now the Presidential General Election. The election is less than a month away, on November 3, 2020.
Before thinking about how you’ll vote you should check your voter registration status. This can easily be done on votespa.com. If you aren’t registered you should do so before October 19, 2020.
If you are unsure how to vote safely at this time there are many options.
In-person voting on the day of the election will of course take place with polling places open from 7 am to 8 pm. Voters should of course wear masks and take other COVID-19 precautions such as social distancing and washing their hands before and after voting. This option is great for those who aren’t high-risk for the virus. But if you or anyone in your household has had symptoms of COVID-19 within 14 days of the election or has tested positive for COVID-19, you should avoid voting in person. If you do plan on voting in person, be sure to check your polling place online as it may have changed from the last time you voted.
If you are unable to go and vote in person, this does not relieve you of your civic duty to vote, as there are a few other options for you to vote.
Voting via mail-in ballot is a great way to minimize contact and possible infection of COVID-19 since the only contact necessary is between you and the mailbox. Because this method is not immediate you must apply for your ballot by October 27, 2020, at 5 pm and make sure that your ballot is postmarked by 8 pm on November 3rd. USPS then has 3 days to get your ballot to the county election office, as the deadline is 5 pm November 6, 2020. If your ballot is received after that date it won’t be counted. There is an alternative option to mailing it if you worry your ballot won’t be received in time. Mail-in ballots can be returned in person to your county election office and other designated locations by 8 pm on November 3rd.
The newest alternative to voting on November 3rd is voting at satellite election offices. Starting on September 29th, 2020, these offices are open 7 days a week through to election day. As of now, there are 7 offices spread across Philadelphia, according to philadelphiavotes.com more offices will open “as staffing becomes available”. These locations will not only allow you to vote but there you will be able to register to vote, apply for your mail-in ballot, and drop off said ballot. To find a satellite election office closest to you check out Philadelphiavotes.com
We have an array of options to vote during these unprecedented times, so remember that your vote counts, and make sure it gets counted however best fits your life and safety.