What To Expect In Delaware County On Election Day

·5 min read

DELAWARE COUNTY, PA — As voter plan to head out to the polls Tuesday in Delaware County, officials want to keep voters in the know on what to expect at their polling locations.

The county got more than 100,000 votes by mail, but more than 250,000 voters can vote in person at 428 precincts at 250 polling places in the county’s 49 municipalities.

Delaware County polling places will open at 7 a.m. and remain open until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Voters going to the polls on Election Day should be aware that each polling place will be strictly adhering to the latest coronavirus safety guidelines and orders issued by the CDC and the state.

Each polling place will be supplied with a PPE Kit — including masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, wipes, disposable pens, and other equipment — to protect the health and safety of residents and poll workers.

Poll workers will be required to wear masks and will clean commonly touched surfaces after each voter has cast their ballot.

Social distancing of at least six feet will be observed and enforced both inside the polling places and outside while voters are waiting in line.

Voters are encouraged to review a Sample Ballot online here for their precinct before voting. This will help voters familiarize themselves with the candidates and reduce time spent voting at the polling place, which will expedite the process for all voters.

On Election Day voters are urged to wear a mask and are also encouraged to wash or sanitize their hands. These measures will help residents protect each other and the poll workers who have dedicated their time on Election Day.

Although many votes have already been cast, Delaware County is anticipating a record turnout for this election, and long lines should be anticipated.

Lines may also appear longer as the result of social distancing requirements, so voters should not be discouraged if they see long lines at their polling place.

Voters should prepare for an extended wait time outside of the polling place and dress accordingly.

Officials said voters should consider voting at traditionally off-peak hours, usually the middle of the morning and late afternoon. Traditionally, the busiest time at the polls have been early morning, early evening and towards the end of the evening when polls close at 8 p.m. Voters who are in line at their polling place by 8 p.m. will be able to cast their vote.

This is the first modern General Election where paper ballots will be used across all precincts in Delaware County.

Trained poll workers will be on-hand to answer questions. If a voter cannot read or write; cannot read the names on the ballot; has difficulty understanding English; or is blind, disabled, or unable to operate the voting machine, the voter has the right to assistance.

First-time voters are required to show appropriate ID. A list of all acceptable forms of ID can be found online here.

On Election Day, some Delaware County voters may choose to cast their vote using their vote-by-mail (mail-in or absentee) ballot. All 44 Delaware County ballot drop boxes will remain open until 8 p.m. on Election Day.

The locations of each ballot drop box can be found online here.

Voters should be aware that, per Pennsylvania state law, the third-party return of ballots is prohibited unless the person returning the ballot is rendering assistance to a disabled voter or an emergency absentee voter. Forms for designating someone to render assistance to a disabled voter can be found on the county's website.

Voters will not be able to return their completed vote-by-mail ballot at their polling place on Election Day like they did in the June 2020 Primary. A handful of the permanent ballot drop boxes have been installed in proximity to polling places, and these will remain open and accessible through 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Delaware County’s Voter Service Centers will also be open on Election Day. Residents who have requested but not yet received a mail-in ballot can request a replacement ballot at a Delaware County Voter Service Center. They are urged to arrive early in order to allow time for long lines and time to process the ballot to ensure they can cast their vote in a ballot box by 8 p.m. Times and locations of each Voter Service Center is available here.

Please note: Ballots will not be accepted after 8 p.m. on Election Day at any Voter Service Center or ballot drop box.

Voters who did not receive their vote-by-mail ballot, or have returned their completed vote-by- mail ballot but are concerned that their ballot may not have been received by the Bureau of Elections by the deadline can visit their polling place on Election Day, explain their situation to their precinct’s Judge of Elections, and cast a provisional ballot that will be counted if their vote-by-mail ballot is not received by the deadline. Voters who possess a vote-by-mail ballot on Election Day and decide to vote in-person can do so.

The vote-by-mail ballot and declaration envelope should be brought to the polling place.

A new "Last Minute Vote-by-Mail Concerns" guide has been published and is available on the Voter Resources page of county's website here. This resource provides explanations for several common scenarios that voters may experience when requesting and casting a vote-by-mail ballot.

Voters who have questions or experience issues on Election Day can call the Delaware County Election Hotline at 610-891-8683. Voters can also call the PA Department of State at 877-868-3772. Interpreters will be available for PA DOS calls.

Voters who witness criminal activity or other concerning behavior, including voter intimidation, are asked to call the Delaware County District Attorney’s office at 610-891-4797.

A bipartisan group of attorneys will be able to assist voters beginning at 6 a.m. on Election Day.

The Bureau of Elections expects partial unofficial results will begin to be posted late on the night of Nov. 3 and will continue to be updated throughout the following days as ballots are counted, including provisional, military, and overseas ballots.

This article originally appeared on the Haverford-Havertown Patch