Released: October 30, 2020
The Delaware County Bureau of Elections is in the final stages of preparation for the November 2020 General Election, and continues to work to ensure that voters are well-prepared to cast their ballot, have clear expectations of the election process and experience a safe, sound, and secure Election Day.
While well over 100,000 votes have already been cast by vote-by-mail ballots prior to Election Day, over 250,000 Delaware County voters are eligible to vote in person at 428 precincts at 250 polling places within the county’s 49 municipalities. Delaware County polling places will open at 7:00 a.m. and remain open until 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3.
Voters going to the polls on Election Day should be aware that each polling place will be strictly adhering to the latest COVID-19 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 of the polling places and outside while voters are waiting in line.
Before heading to the polls, voters should be aware that some polling locations have changed since the 2016 General Election and also since the June 2020 Primary Election. Voters can locate their polling place on the Delco Votes! website at delcopa.gov/pollingplace.
Voters are encouraged to review a Sample Ballot 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. Sample Ballots can be viewed at delcopa.gov/sample.
On Election Day voters are urged to wear a mask. They 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.
Voters should also 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 8:00 p.m. Voters who are in line at their polling place by 8:00 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 at delcopa.gov/voterid.
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 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. The locations of each ballot drop box can be found at delcopa.gov/dropbox. Note that 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.
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 8:00 p.m. Times and locations of each Voter Service Center can be found at delcopa.gov/vsc. Please note: Ballots will not be accepted after 8:00 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 our website at delcopa.gov/voters. 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-VOTE (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 November 3 and will continue to be updated throughout the following days as ballots are counted, including provisional, military, and overseas ballots. Unofficial election results will be posted on the County’s website at delcopa.gov/results.
* 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 our website.
** A handful of the permanent ballot drop boxes have been installed in close proximity to polling places, and these will remain open and accessible through 8 p.m. on Election Day.