Election Day 2020 is fast approaching, and your friends at Highland Community Library want to make sure you have a plan to cast your ballot. We’ve gathered information from Votes PA and the Cambria County Election Office to help ensure your voice is heard. If you have a question that we didn’t answer below or need to use our Internet or public computers to apply for a mail-in ballot, contact the library at 814-266-5610 or highland@cclsys.org and we can connect you with the information and services you need.

How do I request a mail-in ballot?

All registered voters may request a mail-in ballot for any or no reason. Absentee ballots should be requested by voters with disabilities, an illness, or who will be absent from their municipality on election day. Request forms must be received by your county election board or other designated location by 5 pm on October 27, 2020.

The easiest way to request a mail-in ballot is to apply online. You must be registered to vote and have a valid PA Driver’s License or PennDOT ID number to submit an application online.

If you do not have one of these ID numbers, you will need to provide your last four digits of your Social Security number and upload your signature, OR download a paper application and mail it to the Cambria County Board of Elections. If you are sending your mail-in ballot application, it must be RECEIVED by October 27, 2020. Otherwise, you may visit the Cambria County Board of Elections, which is located in the Cambria County Courthouse, on or before October 27 to apply for your mail-in ballot. Anyone can drop off your mail-in ballot application; HOWEVER, only you can drop off your mail-in ballot if you choose to do so (more information on this below).

If you have included an email address in your application, after you sign up for a mail-in ballot, you should receive a confirmation email from the state. When your application is processed and accepted, you should receive another email. If you have any questions about this process, contact the Cambria County Board of Elections at (814) 472-1460 or (814) 472-1464. You will receive a third email when your ballot is being prepared for mailing. This email will say, “If you do not receive your ballot in the next 5-7 days, please contact your county election office.” If you don’t receive your ballot within 5-7 days of this email, contact the Cambria County Board of Elections.

Okay, I have my mail-in ballot. Now what?

Open your mail-in ballot and check to make sure it includes the following:

  • Instructions for voting by mail-in or absentee ballot
  • Your ballot
  • An white inner secrecy envelope in which to place your ballot
  • A larger mailing envelope in which to place the smaller envelope that should hold your ballot

If your ballot does NOT include all of these items, contact the Cambria County Board of Elections.

Fill out your ballot using black or blue ink pen. Fill in the circles completely — no checkmarks, x’s, etc.

In the past, you were able to vote straight-ticket for one party. This is no longer the case. You MUST vote for a candidate in each individual race if you want to vote in every race. You don’t have to vote in every race; you can choose to vote for a candidate in particular races (President, Attorney General, etc.) and not others. You can also write in a candidate not listed on your ballot. If you’re writing in a candidate, we recommend that you use print instead of cursive and print as clearly as possible.

Once your ballot is complete, place it in the white inner secrecy envelope, then place the secrecy envelope inside the pre-addressed outer return envelope. You must complete all the information requested and SIGN the outer envelope before you send it. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU SEND YOUR BALLOT BACK INSIDE BOTH ENVELOPES. If you don’t follow the envelope instructions exactly, your vote will not be counted.

Mail-In Ballot Instructions
Don’t forget to fill out the back of your return envelope!

You have two options for submitting your mail-in ballot:

  • Send it in the mail: Your mail-in ballot must be postmarked by 8 p.m. on election day and received by your county election office by 5 p.m. on Friday, November 6 to be counted. We highly recommend that you MAIL IT EARLY!
  • Drop it off in-person: You must return your mail-in ballot to the Cambria by 8 p.m. on election day. The election office will ONLY accept mail-in ballots submitted by the individual to whom the ballot belongs, so if you’re going this route, make sure you take in your OWN ballot.

If you included your email, you will receive an email from the Cambria County Board of Elections letting you know once your ballot has been counted.

I requested my mail-in ballot but haven’t received it yet.

PA voters can see the status of their mail-in or absentee ballot online. Track your ballot’s progress from when your county receives your request, to when they receive your voted ballot.

If you have not received your mail-in ballot within 7 days of submitting your application, contact the Cambria County Board of Elections as soon as possible to make sure they received your application. This is especially important to do before the application deadline of October 27.

I requested a mail-in ballot but I want to vote in person.

First, and this is very important: DO NOT THROW YOUR MAIL-IN BALLOT AWAY FOR ANY REASON.

If you did not return your mail-in or absentee ballot and you want to vote in person, you have two options:

  • Bring your ballot and the pre-addressed outer return envelope to your polling place to be voided. After you surrender your ballot and envelope and sign a declaration, you can then vote a regular ballot.
  • If you don’t surrender your ballot and return envelope (if you lost it, for example), you can only vote by provisional ballot at your polling place. Your county board of elections will then verify that you did not vote by mail before counting your provisional ballot.

    A provisional ballot is a paper ballot that is provided to voters who believe they are registered voters but whose names do not appear in the sign-in book at the polling place. Within 7 days after the election, the Cambria County Board of Elections will decide whether you were eligible to vote at the election district where you voted the provisional ballot. If you were eligible, they will count your provisional ballot.

I didn’t request a mail-in ballot because I want to vote in person.

Polling places will be open in every PA county on election day, November 3, 2020, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

When you arrive at the polling place, you will check in with the poll workers. Follow their instructions, as the check-in process may have changed. If you are eligible to vote a regular ballot, you will either hand mark a paper ballot or vote using a ballot marking device. Most voters in Cambria County will vote using a hand-marked paper ballot. Some voters will use the ES&S ExpressVote 2.1 to mark their ballot. All voters will use the DS 200 Precinct Scanner to cast their completed ballot.

You can find detailed instructions for both types of in-person ballots in Cambria County at the Votes PA Cambria County Voting System page.

Most voters will NOT need to show ID to vote. However, when voting at a polling place for the first time (whether it is your first time voting, you’ve moved, etc.), you must show proof of identification, either with photo or not. Approved forms of photo identification include:

  • Pennsylvania driver’s license or PennDOT ID card
  • ID issued by any Commonwealth agency
  • ID issued by the U.S. Government
  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. Armed Forces ID
  • Student ID
  • Employee ID

If you do not have a photo ID, you can use a non-photo identification that includes your name and address.

  • Confirmation issued by the County Voter Registration Office
  • Non-photo ID issued by the Commonwealth
  • Non-photo ID issued by the U.S. Government
  • Firearm permit
  • Current utility bill
  • Current bank statement
  • Current paycheck
  • Government check

If you are planning to vote in person on election day, please follow these steps to help ensure a safe and orderly voting experience for everyone:

  • Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. This can be a cloth mask or scarf, like you would wear in a grocery store. We strongly encourage voters to wear masks out of respect for their fellow voters and for the dedicated poll workers staffing the polling places. Voters who are not wearing a mask will not be denied their right to vote.
  • Bring your own blue- or black-ink pen to mark your ballot to limit your exposure to shared surfaces.
  • Practice good hand hygiene. You may want to bring hand sanitizer with you for your personal use.
  • Maintain social distance from poll workers and other voters. This means staying about six feet apart from other people while you are waiting in line, checking in and voting.
  • Follow instructions from poll workers and other election officials. They are there to help things run smoothly.
  • Be patient. This will be a new experience for everyone involved. You can help by being patient and understanding while you exercise your right to vote.

Where is my polling place?

If you need to find your polling place, you can use the PA Department of State Polling Place Lookup Tool.

Richland Township Polling Places:

Richland Township No. 1:
Belmont United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall
107 Coldren St.

Richland Township No. 2:
Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church
1000 Scalp Ave.

Richland Township No. 3:
Solomon Run Fire Company Bldg.
176 Mt. Airy Dr.

Richland Township No. 4:
Arbutus Church of the Brethren
1201 Erickson Dr.

Richland Township No. 5:
Richland Township Municipal Building, Rear of Building
322 Schoolhouse Rd.

Richland Township No. 6:
Arbutus Church of the Brethren
1201 Erickson Dr.

Richland Township No. 7:
Solomon Run Fire Company Bldg.
176 Mt. Airy Dr.

Richland Township No. 8:
Greater Johnstown Career & Technology Center
(Band Room)
445 Schoolhouse Rd.

Richland Township No. 9:
Greater Johnstown Career & Technology Center
445 Schoolhouse Rd.

Geistown Borough Polling Places:

Geistown Borough No. 1:
Geistown Borough Municipal Building

721 E. Oakmont Blvd.

Geistown Borough No. 2:
J-Town BPOE #175, Elks Lodge

330 Teaberry Ln., (Elks Lodge Lane)

Who is on my ballot?

Every Pennsylvanian voter will have the option to vote for the following offices in 2020:

  • President of the United States
  • Pennsylvania Auditor General
  • Attorney General of Pennsylvania
  • Pennsylvania Treasurer

Other offices on the ballot in Cambria County include:

  • U.S. House Pennsylvania District 13
  • U.S. House Pennsylvania District 15
  • Pennsylvania House of Representatives District 71
  • Pennsylvania House of Representatives District 72
  • Pennsylvania House of Representatives District 73
  • Pennsylvania State Senate District 35

You can check out sample 2020 ballots for every municipality in Cambria County by downloading the PDF below:

You can also type your address into Ballotpedia’s Sample Ballot Lookup Tool to review your ballot.

More Voting and Election Resources

Check out these resources to learn more about the election process and the candidates who will appear on your ballot.

As always, contact Highland Community Library at (814) 266-5610 or highland@cclsys.org if you have any questions about voting in 2020 and we will connect you with the information and resources you need!