Election Day-related questions? Call your county, not your polling place

Your Local Election HQ

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Vincent Moore knew the location of his polling place — he had confirmed it on the state’s website, votespa.com — but wondered if he could vote early there. So he called the polling place. The person who answered the phone didn’t know the answer to that question — or even that the location was, indeed, a polling place for Tuesday’s election.

Next, he called the Dauphin County election office.

“That’s awesome,” Dauphin County Chief Clerk Saylor said of Moore’s persistence and resourcefulness.

But Saylor didn’t blame the non-Election Day staff at Moore’s polling place (the Hamilton Health Center). It’s one of 159 polling places in Dauphin County, and one of thousands across the state, nearly all of which have nothing to do with elections most of the year.

Saylor said the county pays them a token fee, in the low hundreds of dollars, for the use of their location, which likely doesn’t fully compensate them for the time, effort, and expense of being a polling place. That’s why the county doesn’t expect or ask them to be proficient in answering election-related inquiries.

“It’s really out of a sense of community service that they’re doing this, so we appreciate that and want to make it as easy as possible for them to serve as a polling location,” Saylor said.

Moore learned two important points:

  • In fact, you cannot vote before Election Day at your assigned polling place. If you already have a mail-in ballot, you can return that at a collection site in your county. Otherwise, your remaining option is to vote Tuesday at your polling place.
  • If you have any questions, visit votespa.com or contact your county’s election office.

“I’m a younger voter, and I’m trying to encourage all younger voters my age,” Moore said, adding that he is also a father. “We gotta go out there and vote.”

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