Decision 2020

Voter's Guide: When and Where to Vote, How to Drop Off a Mail-in Ballot

Learn more about when to vote, where to vote and more in this guide to the 2020 general election that features President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

NBC Universal, Inc.

What to Know

  • Election Day is Tuesday. All voters with mail-in ballots are still able to return them, and multiple options are available and listed below.
  • Voting in person will be different this year than in past years. We have rules for going to your polling place, and links to find where your polling place may be.
  • Scroll down for your complete guide to registration, voting and everything you need to know about Election Day in all three states.

Planning to vote Nov. 3 – in person or via a dropped-off ballot? Here's what you need to know about voting in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. The polls are now open.

For information on who (and what) will be on the ballot, check out sample ballots in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

Drop Off a Mail-in Ballot

If you haven't dropped off or mailed your ballot yet, don't mail it in – take it to your polling place Tuesday or drop it off at a satellite voting location or drop box.

Here is a map and list of all 170 drop box locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware that will allow you to find the ones closest to you. REMEMBER: You must return a ballot to a drop box or election office within the county of your residence, and drop boxes will be locked up by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Here's a step-by-step guide for properly filling out your ballot so it's counted:

If you’re voting by mail in Pennsylvania, there are a few steps you need to make sure you complete to properly fill out your ballot. Here’s a step-by-step guide to make sure your vote will be counted.

Here's more to know:

  • In Pennsylvania, a mailed ballot that is postmarked by Nov. 3 can still be counted even if it arrives to your county election office by Nov. 6 (and yes, as you can probably guess, this means we may not know the official results of the election until after Election Day). But let’s say the mail is slow and your ballot doesn’t arrive until Nov. 7; that means that your vote doesn’t count through no fault of your own. So taking your ballot to the polls or a election location is still a better choice.
  • In Philadelphia, if you're heading to a satellite election office for voter services, get there during the hours of 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. You can drop off a completed mail-in ballot until 8 p.m. No ballots can be accepted after 8 p.m.
  • New Jersey: Mail-in ballots that are postmarked by Nov. 3 will be counted if they are received by 8 p.m. on Nov. 10 by county election offices. Ballots without a postmark that are received within 48 hours of 8 p.m. Nov. 3 will be considered valid.
  • Delaware: If you haven't sent in your ballot, take it to the polls. State election officials asked that voters return mail-in ballots a week before Nov. 3 to assure the ballot is counted.

Poll Hours

Polling place hours:

  • Pennsylvania: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • New Jersey: 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Delaware: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

In Pennsylvania, if you have voted previously at the same polling place, you don't need to show identification. If you are voting for the first time at a polling place, you will need to show a form of identification.

One of the following qualifies: Pennsylvania driver's license or PennDOT ID card; ID issued by Pennsylvania or the US government; US passport; US military ID; student ID; employee ID; a confirmation issued by the County Voter Registration Office; non-photo ID issued by Pennsylvania or the US government; firearm permit; or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or a government check that includes your name and address.

In New Jersey, if you have voted in the same county before you will not need to show identification. If you are voting for the first time in a county, you will need to show a form of identification. Those include: NJ driver's license, with or without a photo; military or other government ID; student ID; employee ID; store membership card; US passport; or bank statement, car registration, government check or document, rent receipt, sample ballot, utility bill, or any other official document.

In Delaware, you will be asked to confirm your residency and provide a form of identification, which includes Delaware driver's license or state ID, US passport, Social Security Card, polling place card, bank statement, utility bill; or mail addressed to the voter at the address where registered.

In Pennsylvania and New Jersey, a voter who is required to provide identification but cannot is able to fill out a provisional ballot in person.

In Delaware, a voter who cannot provide a form of identification will be asked to sign an affidavit attesting to their residence.

Many Americans are confused about voting by mail and have fears that using the mail to cast your ballot will generate voter fraud. Debra Cleaver, founder and CEO of VOTEAMERICA, a non-profit that helps Americans vote by mail, joined NBCLX to debunk some mail voting myths and sort through conflicting messages on absentee voting.

Where do I vote?

Here are the websites that allow you to find out which voting location/polling place has been assigned to you.

  • Pennsylvania: CLICK HERE to find your polling place using your address.
  • New Jersey: CLICK HERE to find your polling place by county.
  • Delaware: CLICK HERE to find your polling place using your address.

What considerations are there for voters with special needs?

All three states have laws protecting voters with special needs and providing them with help at the polling places. Here are some guidelines for those who want help when they arrive at a polling place:

How can I practice COVID-19 safety?

  • Keep your distance from others. The CDC recommends at least six feet of distance.
  • Wear a mask. Put it on before arriving at the polling location and don't take it off until you leave. Keep your nose and mouth covered, and don't touch your face.
  • Wash your hands. Whenever possible, wash your hands, especially after touching surfaces or items that others may have touched. If possible, bring hand sanitizer and use it frequently.
  • Don't bring anyone of non-voting age with you to your polling location, and try to go during non-peak hours (polls tend to be busiest first thing in the morning, over lunch hours and after work).
With both sides calling this the most important presidential election in decades, you want to make certain that your vote is counted. NBCLX's Clark Fouraker has a checklist of the five most important things you should do to make sure your ballot doesn't get disqualified this November.

Save this for next election: How do I register to vote?

The voter registration deadlines have now passed for our three states, but everyone should register. Here’s more information about it:

REMINDER: All citizens 18 years and older who are eligible to vote can go to your county election office to register to vote in person. In Pennsylvania, you can call 1.877.VOTESPA for more information.

How can I find out whether I'm registered?

Follow NBC10 Decision 2020 coverage for the Latest Results & Analysis

Follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Youtube, where we'll be posting the latest updates and analyses.

You can also download our app for iOS or Android to keep up with breaking news, and catch us on air for special coverage.

For more information on planning your vote from NBC News, click here.


The 2020 presidential election will be one of the most consequential in our lifetime. Make your voice heard and vote.

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.

Contact Us