Frequently Asked Questions
November 6, 2018 General Election
1. When is Election Day?
Tuesday, November 6, 2018, 7 a.m.–8 p.m.
2. What is it?
On November 6, a midterm general election for various federal and state offices will be held. Federal offices that are up for election in the midterm are U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives (5th district); and we will also select a Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Representative to the Pennsylvania State Assembly, and, in some cases, Pennsylvania State Senator.
3. Am I registered to vote?
Check by going to votespa.com and click on “Check Your Registration Status.” The deadline to register for the general election was October 9, 2018.
4. I’m going to be out of town on Election Day, how can I vote?
Request an absentee ballot online at votespa.com. It takes two minutes to fill out the form. When your ballot arrives, fill it out, send it in and you’re done!
5. Where do I go to vote?
6. Do I need ID to vote?
If you are voting for the first time in your precinct, yes. You will need to bring a form of ID with you to the polls. It does NOT need to be a photo ID. For a list of approved forms of identification, check out VotesPA website.
If you have voted in your precinct before, you should not be asked for identification and you are NOT required to show ID.
7. What if the poll worker says I cannot vote there?
When you go to your polling place to vote but your name does not appear in the poll book or supplemental poll book, you can still vote. The local officials should place a call to the county board of elections to confirm your registration. The board of elections can determine whether you are registered and in the correct precinct. If you are registered but you are in the wrong precinct, you will be directed to the correct precinct. If the board of elections cannot find your name in its voter registration database, or if you are unable to go to another precinct, you are entitled to use a provisional ballot. You must be careful to follow the instructions when filling out the provisional ballot envelope. Voting by regular ballot is preferred to ensure that every vote is counted, and voting by provisional ballot should be the last resort.
8. What if I need assistance when voting?
You have the right to assistance at the polling place, including foreign language or literacy assistance. You may select any person to assist you as long as the person is not your employer or union representative or the Judge of Elections. Voters do not need to be designated in the poll book as “assistance permitted” to receive help. A person who wants assistance will be asked to sign an Assistance Declaration at the precinct, unless the poll book already indicates “assistance permitted.” Voters also have the right to refuse assistance.
9. Can convicted felons vote?
Yes, the law has recently changed. Also, folks on parole can vote. However, in either case you must register to vote if you have not already done so.
10. We’re not voting for the president—why does it matter if I vote in a midterm general election?
Democracy depends on We the People!
Several recent elections have been extremely close, and the power dynamic in Washington, DC, and Harrisburg depends on YOUR VOTES. Furthermore, when we vote for our state and local officials, we make choices that will have direct and concrete effects on on daily lives.
A representational democracy depends on citizens exercising their right to vote - in each and every election.
11. Why is there a Special Election?
This year, there is a special election that will be held in conjunction with the general election on November 6, 2018. The special election is to replace the current U.S Congressional District 7 seat formerly held by U.S. Representative Patrick Meehan, who resigned from office on April 27, 2018, leaving a vacancy. PA Governor Tom Wolf called for the special election to be held on the same day as the November general election because of cost and practical considerations. The winner of the special election will hold the seat for approximately two months until the new PA Congressional district lines go into effect at the beginning of 2019.
12. How did H-CAN develop the voting guide?
We gathered content from candidate websites, from statements that candidates offered in response to our email requests, and from public candidate statements. Because much of this information came directly from the candidates, H-CAN takes no responsibility for any information that may be erroneous. You’ll see several issues highlighted for each candidate; these are the issues that appear to matter the most to these candidates, based on their public statements. We invite you to use our guide as a starting place to help you further research candidates that interest you.
13. What’s your plan?
Finally, here are some questions for you. Do you know where your polling place is? (Find your polling place here.) What time of day will you vote—morning or evening or in-between? Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
We will see you there!