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Voting in Philly: Where to go, ballot measures, and more Election Day intel

Everything you need to know before the election on November 8

The 24-hour countdown is on: Election Day is Tuesday, November 8, after a long, long campaign season where every eye seemed to be on Philly and the surrounding region.

But electing the next president of the United States isn’t all that’s on the ballot this year in Pennsylvania. There are a lot of important races in play, and some ballot questions you should know about.

Regardless if you’ve been studying your ballot for months or just realized Election Day is tomorrow, consider this a quick primer on voting in Philly.

When to vote

On Tuesday, November 8, polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. If you are in line at your polling location by 8 p.m., you can still vote.

Where to vote

If you don’t know or can’t remember your polling location, never fear: Enter your address into this Google widget and it’ll tell you where to vote. Also, look for these colorful voting signs at every polling location, created by local artists as part of the Next Stop: Democracy program.

How to get there

The SEPTA strike is over, so you can now take public transportation. Indego bikes are also hosting a $1 special, and Zipcar will have some free cars available.

What to bring

If it’s your first time voting at your poll location, you need to bring a form of photo I.D. These will work:

  • Photo ID issued by any Pennsylvania agency or the US government
  • US passport
  • US Armed Forces ID
  • Student ID
  • Employee ID

No photo ID? Bring a confirmation from a county voter registration office; non-photo ID issued by Pennsylvania or the US government; a firearm permit; or a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or government check.

What to wear

Unlike other cities like NYC and San Francisco, “passive electioneering” is legal in Pennsylvania. So yes, you can wear your shirts, hats, buttons, and other campaign paraphernalia when you go to your polling place.

Besides the presidential election, these are the other races in play

  • U.S. Senator for Pennsylvania
  • U.S. representative for Pennsylvania’s 1st congressional district
  • PA auditor general
  • PA state treasurer

You can study a sample ballot that features the names of folks on the ballot via the Philadelphia City Commissioner’s website.

What to know about those two city bond questions

You’ll be asked on the ballot:

Should the City of Philadelphia borrow $184,303,000.00 to be spent for and toward capital purposes as follows: Transit; Streets and Sanitation; Municipal Buildings; Parks, Recreation and Museums; and Economic and Community Development?

Here’s how that chunk of change will break down:

  • $100.9 million for improvements to municipal buildings
  • $33.4 million for streets and sanitation
  • $25.7 million for parks, recreation, and museums,
  • $19.5 million for economic and community development
  • $4.7 million for transit.


Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to require that justices of the Supreme Court, judges, and magisterial district judges be retired on the last day of the calendar year in which they attain the age of 75 years?

Currently, the retirement age for PA state judges is 70.

What to do if you see something weird

The U.S. States Department of Justice will be monitoring polling places in Philly tomorrow, Billy Penn reports. If you notice any signs of disruption, fraud, or harassment at your polling place, call the Election day Fraud Task Force at 215-686-9641, 215-686-9643 or 215-686-9644.