2018 midterm elections: York County voters guide
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6, and some York County residents might not have all of the up-to-date information needed before and during this year's midterm elections.
Don't worry, The York Dispatch has you covered.
Midterm elections historically have lower voter participation than presidential elections, but that doesn't mean county residents should stay home this Election Day.
But before making the trip to the polls, there are a few rules and regulations county voters should know.
Where do I go to vote?
Your ward and precinct are marked on your voter registration card. Go to yorkcountypa.gov/voting-elections/polling-places.html to see where your polling place is or check this up-to-date map of all of the county's polling places:
What will the ballot look like?
If you want to know what to expect the ballot to look like at your polling location, you can find it on the county's website, yorkcountypa.gov/voting-elections/2018-elec-info.html.
Do I need to bring any form of identification?
Some form of identification is required to vote in many states, but Pennsylvania is not one of them. However, those voting for the first time in their election district must show ID, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State. Acceptable photo IDs include a state-issued driver's license, U.S. passport, military ID, student ID or any ID issued by a federal or state agency. Acceptable nonphoto IDs include a voter registration card, firearm permit, utility bill, bank statement or government check. If using a nonphoto ID, it must contain your address.
Can I wear clothing/accessories supporting candidates or parties?
Voters are allowed to wear things such as T-shirts, hats and pins that show support for candidates or parties, which is not the case in some other states.
What should I do if I feel I'm being intimidated at the polls?
It is illegal for any person or corporation to influence a voter through intimidation or coercion in the state, according to the Department of State, and anyone who feels intimidated at the polls is encouraged to contact the county board of elections at 717-771-9604 or by filing a complaint through the department's website at votespa.com.
The only people allowed inside polling places are election officials, clerks, machine inspectors, certified poll watchers, residents in the process of voting, people legally giving assistance to voters and police officers. Those who do not fit into these categories must remain at least 10 feet away from the entrance.
Can someone challenge my right to vote?
Certain people can challenge a person's right to vote for certain reasons, according to the Department of State. A poll worker, certified poll watcher or another registered voter may challenge a voter on the grounds that they do not live in the precinct or are not who they say they are. A voter who is challenged may still vote, however, by signing a challenge affidavit and producing a witness to vouch for him or her. If your name is not included in the poll book and you believe this is a mistake, you can vote via a provisional ballot, which is a paper ballot that will be counted if it is determined that you were correct. Paper ballots are available at all county polling places as a backup in case the electronic machines malfunction for any length of time.
Can I receive assistance at the polls?
Assistance is allowed in Pennsylvania for voters who can't read or write, have difficulty understanding English, are blind or disabled or are unable to operate a voting machine, according to the department. Assistance may be requested of a friend, relative, neighbor or another voter, and you don't need to be designated as "assistance permitted" in your district's poll book to receive assistance. However, if you're not listed as "assistance permitted" in the book, you must sign an assistance declaration.
Problems with voting?
The York Dispatch has partnered with the nonprofit news organization ProPublica to give local voters up-to-date information about voting issues during the midterm elections.
The Electionland program is a collaborative effort allowing voters to submit local election-related problems on Election Day.
Issues that can be reported include but are not limited to: long lines; harassment at the polls; changed voting locations; provisional ballot use; voter ID issues; ballot design problems; and vote disruption caused by hacking.
If issues are reported, The York Dispatch will receive real-time notifications of the submissions, leading to timely, efficient reporting about York County voters' experiences at the polls.
Learn how to report issues in the graph below:
Need to study up on the candidates?
York Dispatch special projects reporter Logan Hullinger has profiled nearly all of the candidates who are hoping to represent parts of the county.
Take some time to read through the candidates' backgrounds and political platforms, and go into Election Day knowing what candidate will be getting your vote.
Gubernatorial race coverage:
Congressional races profiles:
State races profiles:
— Logan Hullinger can be reached at email@example.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.