2020 General Election FAQs
Where is the Voter Services Office?
The Chester County Voter Services Office is located at the Chester County Government Services Center. We have also added two satellite offices that will be open throughout the General Election.
At these locations, you can:
- Inquire about any issues related to your mail-in ballot.
- Drop off your completed mail-in ballot. For a list of ALL drop-off locations, go here
Government Services Office Hours
for the 2020 General Election
Mon - 8:30am-4:30pm
Tue - 8:30am-4:30pm
Wed - 8:30am-7:00pm
Thur - 8:30am-4:30pm
Fri - 8:30am-4:30pm
Sat - 9:00am-1:00pm
Satellite Office - Henrietta Hankin Branch Library
Mon - 9:30am-5:00pm
Tue - 9:30am - 8:00pm
Wed - 9:30am-5:00pm
Thur - 9:30am - 8:00pm
Fri - 9:30am-5:00pm
Sat - 9:00am-1:00pm
Satellite Office - Oxford Public Library
Mon - 10:00am-5:00pm
Tue - 1:00pm-8:00pm
Wed - 10:00am-5:00pm
Thur - 1:00pm-8:00pm
Fri - 10:00am-2:00pm
Sat - 9:00am-1:00pm
Mail-In and Absentee Ballots
Chester County Voter Services staff are working seven days/week to process mail-in ballot applications and return them to applicants. If you have applied for a mail-in or absentee ballot and have not yet received it after FIVE FULL BUSINESS DAYS have passed, you can submit the ballot inquiry form. Responses may take 24-48 hours, so please only submit one request.
What is the difference between mail-in and absentee ballots?
- Mail-in Ballot - Any registered voter may apply for a mail-in ballot. You can request a mail-in ballot without giving a reason.
- Absentee Ballot - If you plan to be out of your municipality on Election Day or if you have a disability or illness, you should request an absentee ballot. This ballot requires you to list a reason for your bal
My mail-in ballot application was declined because it was a duplicate. What does this mean?
Can I check the status of my mail-in or absentee ballot application?Yes, you can check your status online. There are a few different statuses that can appear when checking the status of your mail-in/absentee ballot:
- No Record: This means that you have not applied for a ballot OR our office has not yet processed your application. Please allow 10-14 business days from the time you submit your application before checking the status. If you provided your email address on the application, you will receive an email indicating that your application was processed.
- Duplicate: This means that we have already received your application. If you apply again, it will be considered a “duplicate” and rejected. This does not cancel your previous application. If you have already applied for a mail-in ballot, we strongly recommend that you check your status before submitting a second application.
- Pending: This means that your application was received and approved, but that your ballot has not been mailed yet. We will begin mailing out mail-in and absentee ballots the week of September 28th.
- Processed: This means that your application was received and approved, and your ballot has been mailed.
- Vote Recorded: This means that we received your ballot and have recorded your vote.
What is the deadline to request a mailed ballot?
Pennsylvania is no longer accepting applications for mail-in or absentee ballots as of 5:00PM, October 27.
When will I receive my requested mail-in/absentee ballot?
Ballots will be mailed after your ballot application is approved. You will receive an email when your ballot is approved or you can check the status of your mail-in or absentee ballot online. After approved, ballots usually arrive in 3-4 days.
Returning your completed mail-In or absentee ballot
To ensure that you are returning you mail-in or absentee ballot correctly, please watch the video below.
Make sure to place your ballot in the secrecy envelope and then put the secrecy envelope into the larger envelope that was provided with your mail-in ballot package. Be sure to sign the declaration on the outer envelope, or your ballot may not count.
I do not want to return my completed mail-in or absentee ballot via US postal mail. What are my options?
- Completed mail-in ballots can be dropped off at several locations throughout the County.
- If you do not want to return your paper ballot because your signature is exposed on the outer envelope, you can place the sealed ballot unfolded in a larger envelope and send it to: Chester County Voter Services, 601 Westtown Rd, Suite 150, West Chester, PA 19380. You will be responsible for the postage fee.
What is a naked ballot?
Naked ballots are mail-in ballots that are submitted without the inner “secrecy envelope”. All ballots submitted without the secrecy envelope WILL NOT BE COUNTED. Please watch the video above to ensure you are submitting your mail-in or absentee ballot correctly.
Can I drop off a mail-in or absentee ballot for a friend or family member?
No. Similar to voting in person, you must cast your own vote. You cannot collect, drop off, or deliver ballots for other people. The only exception is for disabled voters who need assistance voting. Please call our office at 610-344-6410 if you need assistance.
When is my ballot due?
Due to a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision, voters now have until Tuesday November 3rd, 2020 to mail their ballot to our office. The ballot MUST BE POST MARKED NO LATER THAN TUESDAY November 3, 2020. All ballots must arrive at the Voter Services office by Friday, November 6th, 2020 at 5:00 PM to be counted.
What do I do if my mail-in ballot is damaged?
Do I need to return the damaged ballot?
Yes, return the ballot, the secrecy envelope, and the outer envelope to Chester County Voter Services main office or one of the satellite offices listed at the top of this page and we will reissue your ballot. You can also take your damaged ballot to your polling place on election day and notify the Judge of Elections that your ballot is damaged. The Judge of Elections will spoil the ballot and issue you a regular ballot to to vote on-site.
What happens if I accidentally put my date of birth on the outer envelope instead of the date that I filled out the ballot?
There is no basis to reject a ballot for putting the wrong date on the envelope, nor is the date written used to determine the eligibility of the voter. The ballot will be processed normally.
How do I know my vote is secure when using the mail-in ballot option?
All of Chester County’s secure drop-off locations are staffed by two County representatives during the entire time that every drop box is in operation. All mail-in ballots placed in secure drop-boxes are collected at the end of each day by two County representatives who are wearing body cameras for added security. Those individuals immediately transport the mail-in ballots to the Chester County Voter Services main office, where they are placed in a securely locked room that has 24/7 video surveillance. The mail-in ballots will be recorded as received by Voter Services staff, and will then be returned to the locked room until ready for counting, beginning at 7:00 a.m. on Election Day, November 3rd.
All Chester County polling locations will be open 7:00am - 8:00pm on November 3, 2020.
What time are the polls are open?
Where is my polling location?
You can find a list of polling places here.
Please note: polling places highlighted in yellow have been temporarily moved for this election. If your polling place is highlighted in yellow, please report to the temporary location.
What if I am planning to vote in person but am ill on Election Day?
If you are ill and would like to vote in person, please call our office at 610-344-6410.
Can I vote in person after requesting a mail-in ballot?
If you change your mind and want to vote in person after being approved for a mail in ballot, you can bring your ballot package (the ballot, the secrecy envelope and the larger envelope) to the polls with you. You will need to give your mail-in ballot package to a Judge of Elections at your designated polling location and they will spoil it for you, enabling you to vote in person. If you forget to bring your mail-in ballot package with you, you will be given a provisional ballot. This ballot will only be counted once we verify that your mail-in ballot has not been received by the Election Board.
Will voters be made to wear masks in order to vote in person at polling places?
All voters must follow the state order and wear a face covering while waiting in line and while inside polling places. Anyone refusing to wear a face covering will not be denied the right to vote, but will be instructed to wait outside at a distance from the polling place entrance, while others vote safely inside. He or she must wait until poll workers can make arrangements inside for the person to vote alone, with minimal or no contact with other voters and poll workers.
All Judges of Elections, inspectors and poll workers will be trained on CDC guidelines and Voter Services guidelines to ensure the safety and health of all voters on Election Day.
Where can I find sample ballots for the 2020 General Election?
2020 General Election Sample Ballots
What rules are in place when voting in person at polling locations on election day?
Where can I view results of the election for Chester County?
Results will be available on the evening of the general election on our Election Portal.
When will the ballots be tallied or counted?
Chester County Voter Services staff will begin counting mail-in ballots at 7:00am on Election Day. Due to the anticipated volume, wait times may be longer than previous elections.
Register to Vote
How do I register to vote in the 2020 General Election? The deadline to register to vote in the 2020 General Election has passed.
How do I check my voter registration status?
You can check your voter registration status at pavoterservices.pa.gov. Be sure to enter your name exactly as it appears when you originally registered to vote or the system may not be able to locate your record. If you are unable to locate your voter registration status, call us at 610-344-6410.
Please call the Voter Services office for campaign finance questions - 610-344-6410.