September 16, 2020
Late night TV host Stephen Colbert is making sure that residents of every state are up to speed on how to cast their vote in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Colbert's "Better Know a Ballot" campaign tackled Pennsylvania on Tuesday, offering a humorous and useful guide to navigating the 2020 election.
With normal polling places limited by the pandemic, residents are encouraged to apply online for a mail-in or absentee ballot, or otherwise fill out a paper application for a mail-in or absentee ballot. You'll need to make sure you are registered to vote by the Oct. 19 deadline. Election Day is Nov. 3.
Residents must provide a driver's license number, PennDOT ID number, or the last four digits of their Social Security Number to request the mail-in ballot be sent to the address they provide.
All mail-in ballots must be returned to the county election office by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3. The U.S. Postal Service strongly urges voters to mail their ballots no later than Oct. 27 to ensure that they arrive on time. The cost of postage will be covered by the state of Pennsylvania.
In Philadelphia, those who opt to vote in person should consult the City Commissioners' updated list of polling places to find the location where they should vote.
Pennsylvania will be a key state in the 2020 presidential election — and may be the most important swing state in the country, according to FiveThirtyEight. Their analysis examines how Pennsylvania shifted to a red state in 2016 after six straight presidential elections went to the Democratic candidate, as well as how President Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden have strategized for 2020.
If Trump wins Pennsylvania's 20 electoral college votes, FiveThirtyEight projects he'll have an 84% chance of winning the presidency. If Biden takes Pennsylvania, he's projected to have a 96% chance of winning the election.
An average of polls monitored by Real Clear Politics currently has Biden with a 4.3-point lead in Pennsylvania.