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Everything you need to know about Kensington’s satellite election offices

election
Julia De Burgos Elementary, located at 401 W Lehigh Ave 19133, is one of 8 early voting centers at satellite election offices in Philadelphia.

Updated: 10/20/2020 12:19 p.m.

The City of Philadelphia has opened 17 satellite election offices throughout the city to provide residents with greater access to voting. Three of those election offices are in North Philadelphia and near Kensington.

Julia de Burgos Elementary School (401 W. Lehigh Ave.), Mastbaum High School (3116 Frankford Ave.), and The Liacouras Center (1776 N. Broad St.) are currently open Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

At these locations, you can do the following in one visit: 

  • Register to vote until Oct. 19
  • Request and complete a mail-in or absentee ballot until Oct. 27
  • Drop off a mail-in ballot until Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 3.
  • Ask general questions or receive help with a ballot

The satellite election offices aren’t polling places. You can find your polling place for Election Day here.

Dates to remember:

  • The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 19.
  • The deadline to request a mail-in or absentee ballot is Oct. 27.
  • Election Day is Nov. 3.
  • The deadline to drop off a mail-in or absentee ballot at a satellite election office is Nov. 3, by 8 p.m.
  • If sending your mail-in or absentee ballot through the post office, you must send and postmark it on or before Nov. 3. Mail-in or absentee ballots sent through the post office  will only be counted for the election if received by 5 p.m. on Nov. 6.

What to expect at a satellite election office

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Remember to use a pen with blue or black ink when filling out a mail-in or absentee ballot, place the ballot first in the Secrecy Envelope, and then place that sealed envelope inside the Voter Declaration Envelope, which is to be signed and filled out.

Voters must provide either a Pennsylvania State I.D., driver’s license, or the last four digits of their Social Security number to register to vote or request and complete a mail-in ballot at the election office.

All satellite election offices have wheelchair accessible entrances and language assistance for voters with limited-English proficiency. If you have questions regarding accommodations or accessibility, send an email to vote@phila.gov.

Dropping off a ballot outside

If you are dropping off a completed mail-in or absentee ballot, an election office worker will meet you at the door to ensure your ballot is sealed properly and then provide a collection box for you to drop your ballot in. 

Remember: you can’t drop off another person’s ballot unless they are physically unable to submit it themselves. A voter can designate an “agent,” who only needs to provide their full name and address, to drop off their ballot for them. Both the voter and agent will need to complete a form, available in English and Spanish, which the agent must bring to the election office along with the person’s ballot.

Other rules to remember for mail-in or absentee ballots:

  • Use a blue or black ink pen.
  • Place and seal your ballot inside the Secrecy Envelope first, and then place that sealed envelope inside the Voter Declaration Envelope.
  • Make sure the back of the Voter Declaration Envelope is also signed and filled out.
  • If you’re having trouble sealing your envelope, you can use tape or a glue stick — no need to lick it closed! You can also request a new ballot at a satellite election office if needed.

For more guidance on how to fill out your ballot correctly, check out the city’s mail-in voting guides, which are available in English, Spanish, Chinese (simplified), Vietnamese, French, Russian, Arabic, Haitian Creole, Korean, Khmer, Portuguese, and Indonesian.

Election services inside

If you are entering the satellite election office, you need to follow a few procedures. Election office workers (not to be confused with poll workers) will ask you if you have experienced COVID-19 symptoms or have come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Voters are also required to wear a facial covering inside the satellite election office at all times.

election
There are personal voting booths available to cast an early ballot in-person, as well as tables for voters to fill out and drop off their voter registration form, mail-in or absentee ballots.

After checking in, you can go to a personal voting booth to cast a ballot, or visit one of the designated tables to fill out and drop off your voter registration form. 

You can also visit one of the help desks to ask the staff questions about registering to vote, requesting a mail-in ballot, and voting with a mail-in or absentee ballot.

Need quick answers about voting sent right to your phone? Text EQUALINFO to 73224 to ask any question about voting access, deadlines, locations and more.

¿Necesita obtener respuestas sobre la votación rápidas y directamente a su teléfono móvil? Envíe un mensaje de texto EQUALINFO al 73224 para preguntar cualquier pregunta sobre el acceso al voto, fechas límites, ubicaciones y más.


Editors: Zari Tarazona, Claire Wolters, Siani Colón / Designer: Henry Savage

Kensington Voice is one of more than 20 news organizations producing Broke in Philly, a collaborative reporting project on economic mobility. Read more at brokeinphilly.org or follow on Twitter at @BrokeInPhilly.

What did you think about this story? Send a note to editors@kensingtonvoice.com, and we’ll consider publishing it in our Voices section. You can also tell us what you think in person at our neighborhood events.

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