Election 2020: Important election reminders

counting ballots

Here is some important Election Day reminders for Franklin County voters. First, the 2020 general election is a chance to help choose the next president of the United States. It is also a chance to help choose important state and local officials.

It’s an important civic duty for all Americans, regardless of their party affiliation or personal preferences.

Several thousand Franklin County residents have already voted by mail; the Franklin County Elections Board sent 16,000 mail-in ballots out earlier this month. More will go to the polls to vote in person Nov. 3.

RELATED: Election 2020: 16000 mail-in ballots sent

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Here’s what to expect if you are voting in person, plus information about deadlines for returning your mail-in ballot if you haven’t done that yet.

What time do the polls open and close? 

Polls in Franklin County will open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.  Registered voters in line at 8 p.m. will be allowed to vote.   

Am I still registered to vote? 

To search for your voter registration status (Active or Inactive), your party affiliation, or your polling place address log onto the SURE Public Portal or call the Voter Registration Office at (717) 261-3886. 

Where do I go to vote? 

There are seventy-three (73) polling places in Franklin County and you need to go to the polling place assigned to you based on your residence address.  Check your registration card for the polling place location or log onto the SURE Public Portal.  This website will also provide directions from your home to your polling place. 

Has Franklin County consolidated or changed any polling places as a result of Covid-19 concerns? 

All polling places in Franklin County will be open for in-person voting on November 3rd.  There has been one change to a polling place location for the upcoming election:  Lurgan Township voters will again be voting at the Lurgan Lion’s Club, 13978 Cumberland Highway, Roxbury.  Registered voters affected by this change in location will receive a postcard notice in the mail. 

RELATED: Election 2020: New procedures, laws in place

What other things will be different at the polling place as a result of Covid-19? 

Voters appearing at the polling place will see a sign on the door of the polling place reminding them of three requests: 

  • 1) Bring their own blue or black ink pen,
  • 2) Wear a facemask and
  • 3) Practice social distancing.   

We are strongly urging all voters to follow this safety protocol.

If a voter does not have an ink pen or facemask, the poll workers will provide them one, upon request.  Hand sanitizer will also be available for the voters’ use. 

 Voters may also notice other changes at their polling place including different entrance and exit doors, no curtains on the voting booths, no access to the restrooms, different layouts to accommodate social distancing as well as the use of tabletop privacy dividers.   

Pollworkers are provided with face masks, faceshields, plexiglass sneeze guards, gloves, hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes and floor marking tape. 

If I received an absentee or mail-in ballot, what is the deadline to return the voted ballot and where can I return it in-person? 

The deadline to return the voted ballot to the County is 8 p.m. on Election Day, November 3rd.  Please mail your voted ballot as soon as possible so that there is ample time to receive it through USPS.  If there are concerns with it making it on time, voters are able to deliver their voted ballots in person to the following two locations:  

  • Voter Registration Office located in the Old Courthouse, 2 N. Main St. on the square in Chambersburg;  
  • County Commissioners’ Office/County Board of Elections located at 340 N. Second St., Chambersburg, across from Corpus Christi Church.   

Ballots postmarked by Nov. 3 will be counted if they are received by the County no later than Friday, Nov. 6. 

RELATED: SCOTUS: : Counting late ballots okay

What if I received an absentee ballot or mail-in ballot and changed my mind and now want to vote in-person, what can I expect at my polling place? 
  • You will be given a regular ballot if you take your mail-in ballot and declaration envelope with you to your polling place and surrender it on Election Day. 
  • If you do not take your ballot and declaration envelope with you to your polling place, you will only be allowed to vote a provisional ballot which will not be counted until County staff has had an opportunity to ensure that the voter’s absentee or mail-in ballot was not returned.  This could take up to seven days after the election to process. 
Which offices do I vote for? 

Registered voters will be voting for the following offices: 

  • President of the United States;
  • Attorney General;
  • Auditor General;
  • State Treasurer;
  • Representative in Congress;
  • Senator in the General Assembly-33rd Senatorial District;
  • Representative in the General Assembly – 78th, 82nd, 89th & 90th Legislative Districts.

There is also a Liquor Referendum Question on the ballot for St. Thomas Township voters. 

A sample ballot is available on the County’s website. The sample ballot is also available from the Franklin County Commissioners’ Office, 340 N. Second St., Chambersburg beginning Thursday, Oct. 29. 

What do I need to take with me to the polling place? 

Those voting in an election district for the first time will need an approved form of identification. You can find a list here. That can be either photo or non-photo ID.  Other voters will not be asked to present an ID. 

Is my polling place handicapped accessible? 

All polling places are considered handicapped accessible.

May I receive assistance in voting? 

No one can receive assistance in voting unless his/her registration record indicates the need for assistance; or the voter completes and signs a declaration asking for assistance at the polling place prior to entering the voting booth.   

A voter may select anyone to assist them EXCEPT:

  • The Judge of Elections;
  • The voter’s employer or agent of that employer; or
  • An officer or agent of the voter’s union.  

Each polling place will have a lighted magnifier with a bifocal lens available to assist voters who have trouble reading their ballot. 

Can candidates pass out/display campaign literature at the polling place? 

The Election Code states that those individuals or candidates that are campaigning must remain at least ten (10) feet distant from the entrance of the polling place during the progress of the voting.

Can I display or wear any type of attire with a candidate’s name on it into the polls? 

Electioneering is NOT allowed within the polling place.  This includes the display of candidate names on buttons, signs, or clothing, as well as items advocating a political party, etc.  Voters will be asked to remove the item or to cover it up before receiving a ballot.   

Where can I find information about the candidates that will be appearing on the ballot? 

Check the local newspapers or contact either the Franklin County Democratic Committee (717-530-1662) or the Franklin County Republican Party (717-263-7999) for information.

Who do I contact with  questions regarding voting or the election day process? 

Direct all voter registration questions to the Franklin County Voter Registration Office at (717) 261-3886.  All election related questions should be directed to the Franklin County Election Board at (717) 261-3810.

What type of voting system do we use in Franklin County? 

For information on voting in Franklin County, an online demo and/or instructional video on voting a digital scan ballot using a DS200 Precinct Counter is available here. (Voting & Elections; Types of Voting; In Person).  We also have an assistive marking device for the blind or visually impaired in each polling place called an ExpressVote. A demo of this machine can be viewed at this website as well. 

How will I know that my ballot was accepted and counted at my polling place? 

Upon completion of marking their paper ballot, the voter will slide their ballot into the precinct counter.  The machine’s touchscreen displays a flag background when the ballot is accepted, thanking the voter for voting.  Once the voter sees this screen, they have the assurance that there is no problem with their ballot and they may exit the polling place. 

If there is an error with their ballot such as an overvote or blank ballot, the touchscreen will display the appropriate message and give the voter choices on the handling of their ballot.  If there are unreadable marks on the ballot, the precinct counter will beep and alert the voter and pollworkers that further action needs to be taken before the precinct counter can accept the ballot. 

Where can I view election results? 

Franklin County results will be located on the County’s website. To view results from other counties or for all of Pennsylvania, please use the Department of State’s website.  

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