District 1 Councilman Bobby Wilson answers five common questions about the voting process.
Photo: City Council Chambers by Ashlee Green
By Nov. 3, we will all have cast our ballots in this year’s critically important election. This month, I wanted to answer five commonly asked questions about the voting process.
First, you may be asking yourself: Where is my polling place? In the Northside, in Council District 1 (the green wards on the map), only two polling places have changed for this election. If you used to vote at the Lynn Williams Apartments on 3710 Brighton Rd., you will cast your ballot this election at the Rooney (5-8) School at 3530 Fleming Ave. If you used to vote at Pressley Ridge on 2611 Stayton St., now you will cast your ballot at Oliver Citywide Academy’s North Gym at 2323 Brighton Rd. Otherwise, for the other 23 polls in my district, you will vote where you have always voted. Just to be safe, I encourage you to confirm the location of your polling place at https://alleghenyvotes.com/election-day/.
Second, you may be unsure what to do if you have received your mail-in ballot but want to vote in person. No worries! That is a pretty common question my office has been getting, and here’s what you’ll do: Bring your ballot, the secrecy envelope, and the outer envelope to your polling place. There, you can surrender all of these materials and vote in person.
Third, you may be wondering: What should I do if I’ve requested my mail-in ballot but have not received it yet? Since we are only a couple days away from Election Day, plan on going to your polling place on Election Day. There, request a PROVISIONAL BALLOT. Know that you are legally allowed to vote at your polling place that day, so do not take “No” for an answer from any poll workers. If you need to, call the Pennsylvania Department of State’s Official Election Day Hotline at 1-877-868-3772. Casting a provisional ballot is essential because it will ensure that your vote will be counted in Allegheny County’s final tally.
Fourth, please note that you cannot drop off your mail-in ballot at your polling place. You have to mail it or drop it off downtown in the lobby of the Allegheny County Elections Division Office at 542 Forbes Ave. The lobby is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. On Election Day, the lobby will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. If you’re going to mail your ballot back, just know that it has to be postmarked before noon on Election Day. If you’re going to drop it off downtown, don’t stress about parking—you can park in my spot on Fourth Avenue or in any of the free voter parking spots on Fourth Avenue or Ross Street. Just look for the blue 15-minute “Voter Parking Only” signs.
Finally, if you need a ride to your poll on Election Day, please call The Black Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP) at (412) 434-0919 or The Voter Empowerment Education and Enrichment Movement (VEEEM) at (412) 242-1998 and they will give you a ride. If you use Uber or Lyft (Code: 2020VOTE), both ridesharing services are offering 50% off your roundtrip to your poll on Election Day!
Happy Election Day!
COUNCILMAN, DISTRICT 1