Centre County Elections

FAQs

Find answers to some of our most frequently asked questions below. If you still need help, please visit our Contact Us page.

Vote-by-Mail

What are the options for returning my mail-in or absentee ballot?

If you request a mail-in ballot for the 2022 General Election you have four main options for voting. They are:

  1. Put the mail-in ballot in a designated secure ballot drop box. Ballots must be returned to a drop box by 9am on Monday, November 7, 2022.
  2. Return the mail-in ballot directly to the Election Office of the Willowbank Building, 420 Holmes St, in Bellefonte. Ballots will be accepted for in-person return from:
    • Monday, October 17 – Tuesday, November 8, 2022 at 8:00 pm, Office hours are Monday – Friday from 8:30 -5:00 pm except for Election Day.
  3. Surrender your mail-in ballot and return envelope with barcode at your polling location on Election Day.  You will surrender your mail-in ballot and return envelope with barcode to the poll workers and fill out a form that voids the mail-in ballot. Then you will be given a regular ballot that will be voted at your polling location.
  4. If you are unable to bring your mail-in ballot to your polling location on Election Day, you will be given a provisional ballot at your polling location when you come to vote. The provisional ballot will be verified in the days following the election. Here’s more information regarding provisional ballots: https://www.votespa.com/Voting-in-PA/Pages/Voting-by-Provisional-Ballot.aspx.

How do I vote by mail?

Please visit Vote By Mail for more information.

I have requested my vote-by-mail ballot. When can I expect to receive it?

The absolute last date the county can commence to send mail-in or absentee ballots is October 25, 2022. The turnaround time from approving a vote-by-mail ballot application to mailing out the ballot is 48 hours.

Can someone else return my completed vote-by-mail ballot?

Generally speaking, no. Only the voter can return their own vote-by-mail ballot.

Exceptions do exist for individuals with a physical disability or an emergency absentee voter. In these cases, a voter should complete a Designated Agent Form that can be used by someone else do the following:

  • submit a completed paper ballot application to the Centre County Board of Elections
  • pick up a ballot for the voter to complete
  • deliver or mail the completed ballot to the Centre County Board of Elections.

Please call the Centre County Elections Office at (814) 355-6703 with any questions regarding the designation of agent form.

Will “naked” vote-by-mail ballots be counted?

No.

On September 17, 2020, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that an absentee or mail-in ballot that is not enclosed in the secrecy envelope must be disqualified.

Can a vote-by-mail ballot be rejected for mismatching signatures?

No.

On September 11, 2020, the Pennsylvania Department of State released guidance regarding acceptance of mail-in and absentee ballots. From page 3 of the guidance, “[t]he Pennsylvania Election Code does not authorize the county board of elections to set aside returned absentee or mail-in ballots based solely on signature analysis by the county board of elections.”

Further, the Pennsylvania Election Code does not have a process for rejecting vote-by-mail ballots due to a mismatched signature. As long as there is any marking in the Voter’s Declaration signature box the Centre County Board of Elections will accept the ballot.

I have received my vote-by-mail ballot but want to vote in-person on Election Day at my polling location. Can I still vote in-person on Election Day?

Yes. You should save your vote-by-mail ballot and return/voter declaration envelope and bring it to your polling location on Election Day.

When you arrive at the check-in table at your polling location you can surrender your mail-in ballot and return/voter declaration envelope to a poll worker. The poll worker will then give you a form that you fill out that will void your mail-in ballot. Then you will sign into the poll book and be given a regular ballot that you can vote at your polling location and place into the ballot scanner.

What happens if someone votes by mail and then tries to vote on Election Day at their polling location?

The deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot for the 2022 General Election is 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 1, 2022 Once all the applications for vote-by-mail ballots are processed, the poll books are printed for Election Day. When voting in-person on Election Day there is an area in the poll book for each voter’s signature. For voters that request a vote-by-mail ballot there will not be a signature line. Instead there will be a message that says they are not eligible to cast a regular ballot due to requesting or returning a vote-by-mail ballot. If the voter believes this is an error they can still cast a provisional ballot.

Provisional ballots are not opened and counted until all regular ballots are counted. Each provisional ballot is cross-referenced with the Election Day poll books and the Statewide Uniform Registry of Electors (SURE) system. Anyone who casts a provisional ballot on Election Day received a barcode with a number unique to their ballot, a phone number, and a website to track if their vote was completely counted, partially counted, or not counted. (More information on provisional ballots is available here.)

If someone casts a provisional ballot at their polling location on Election Day and has also returned a vote-by-mail ballot their provisional ballot will not count. If someone casts a provisional ballot at their polling location on Election Day and has not returned their vote-by-mail ballot their provisional ballot will count.

How can I track that status of my vote-by-mail ballot?

Centre County voters can see the status of their mail-in or absentee ballot online. Track your ballot’s progress from when your county receives your application, to when they receive your voted ballot. Visit votesPA.com/MailBallotStatus and enter your information.

Are postmarks acceptable for returning my vote-by-mail ballot?

The Centre County Board of Elections encourages voters to return their own voted mail-in ballots to the Centre County Elections Office or a secure ballot drop box by Election Day by 8:00 p.m.

How do I remove myself from the permanent absentee ballot or mail-in ballot list?

Voters who signed up to receive an absentee ballot or a mail-in ballot have the option of requesting to receive an application to renew their absentee or mail-in ballot request each year. This application will be mailed to voters prior to each Municipal Election. After your annual application is approved, you will automatically receive ballots for all elections occurring the remainder of the year. You do not need to submit an application for each election. The county will send you an annual renewal form so you can continue receiving ballots each year.

Voters registered in Centre County who no longer wish to receive an application for absentee or mail-in ballots each year can request to cancel their permanent absentee ballot or mail-in ballot status by completing this form and mailing it to:

Centre County Elections & Voter Registration
420 Holmes St
Bellefonte, PA 16823

Secure Ballot Drop Boxes

Are secure ballot drop boxes going to be used in the 2022 General Election?

Yes. The Centre County Board of Elections has identified eight locations throughout the County for drop boxes.

Click here to learn more about Centre County’s secure ballot drop boxes.

Where are the secure ballot drop boxes located?

Click here for a complete list of official drop boxes in Centre County.

How often are drop boxes emptied?

Secure ballot drop boxes are emptied once a day, Monday-Friday, by a bi-partisan team of two election workers. They will be accompanied by Sheriff’s Deputies on Election Day for additional security.

Voting at the Willowbank Building

What are the dates and hour of operation for the Voting at the Willowbank Building?

Dates and hours of operation of the Voting can be found here under the dropdown menu.

Where to Vote

Where can I vote on election day?

You can look up your voting location by address.

What to Expect on Election Day

What do I need to bring with me?

When voting at a polling place for the first time, you must show proof of identification, either with photo or not.

Click here to find out more information about approved forms of photo identification.

What are my rights as a voter?

  • If the polls close while you are still in line, stay in line – you have the right to vote.
  • If you make a mistake on your ballot, ask for a new one.
  • You are entitled to a provisional ballot, even if you are not in the poll book.
  • If you run into any problems or have questions on Election Day, contact the Centre County Elections Office at Elections@centrecountypa.gov.

If I do not live in Centre County, can I be a poll watcher in Centre County?

No. On September 17, 2020, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the poll watcher residency requirement in the Election Code is valid and constitutional.

Election Results

When will results be available?

After polls close at 8:00 PM on Tuesday, November 8, 2022, the Centre County Board of Elections will begin to upload unofficial results to our website and to the Pennsylvania Department of State’s website.

When will results for mail-in and absentee ballots be available?

Unofficial results for mail-in and absentee ballots received by the Centre County Board of Elections by 5PM on Monday, November 7, 2022, will be available by 9:00 PM on Tuesday, November 8, 2022.

Unofficial results for mail-in and absentee ballots received by the Centre County Board of Elections by 8PM on Tuesday, November 8, will be available by 8:00 PM on Wednesday, November 9, if not sooner.

When will results for in-person voting on Election Day be available?

Unofficial results for in-person voting on Election Day, Tuesday, November 8, 2022, will be available depending on when the Judge of Elections from each precinct returns to the Willowbank Building. Typically, Judges of Elections arrive between 8:30 PM and 11:59 PM depending on the distance the polling location is from the Willowbank Building and the size of the turnout at their polling location. Unofficial results from will be posted as they are received.

Election Workers

How do I sign up to be a poll worker?

Thank you for your interest in helping to make democracy happen in Centre County. Click to sign up. After you complete the sign up a member of the Centre County Elections Office will reach out to you.

How do I sign up to help process the vote-by-mail ballots?

If you are interested in assisting with the Vote by Mail process please use this link https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0F48AEAD2BA6FFCE9-vbm2022 to check available positions and times available

Registering to Vote

What is the deadline to register to vote in Centre County?

The deadline to register to vote for the 2022 General Election was Monday, November 7, 2022.

The Centre County Board of Elections will begin to process voter registration for the 2022 General Election on Wednesday, May 18, 2022.