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So there’s an election on Tuesday. Philadelphia voters will be tasked with picking candidates to fill the District Attorney’s Office and a slate of judicial positions. If you’re not using a mail ballot, where are you supposed to cast your vote?
If you weren’t sure, no surprise. The pandemic totally messed with the city’s usual roster of polling places. For the June 2020 primary, officials went from 830 voting locations to just 188. The number went back up to 718 for the November general. With all the shuffling, Philadelphians may have voted at three totally different locations over the past year and a half.
So this time around, are you supposed to vote at your OG polling place, the one you hit up in June of last year, the one you went to most recently?
For most people, the answer is probably to go to the spot where you voted in November, according to the Office of City Commissioners. Spokesperson Nick Custodio said for the May 18 primary, the office is using many of the same polling places they did six months ago.
But not all of them. So far, officials have identified 707 locations to use this time around — compared to 718 in November, so a few voters will be going to new locations.
“We have changes every election: construction, returning to previous locations, and landlords no longer wishing to host are the most common [reasons],” Custodio told Billy Penn.
🗳️ More election info:
- Procrastinator’s guide to all the candidates
- What to do if you applied for a Philly mail ballot, but didn’t get it
- Mail ballot drop box map and list of drop-off locations
- Ballot Q: Should Pa. strip the governor’s disaster declaration powers?
- Ballot Q: Should Pa. amend the constitution to prohibit race-based discrimination?
- Ballot Q: Should paid fire departments be able to apply for loans?
- Ballot Q: Should Philly expand the board that hears appeals on property violations?
There’s also the fact that this year, the election falls on the Jewish holiday Shavuot, which eliminated some locations in religious facilities. So if you voted in a synagogue last time, you should double check your polling place.
And the number of polling places is still subject to change, per Custodio. One example: Earlier this week, a church dropped out — requiring election officials to find a new voting spot for three divisions.
The City Commissioners staff has already mailed new voter registration cards to all Philadelphians whose polling places have changed since the last election, Custodio said. They’ve also begun posting notices on all the new and old polling places to inform near neighbors of the change, which they expect to finish this weekend.
If you want to help out a friend or just get a feel for where people will be voting, check the map below, where we’ve entered all of Philadelphia’s polling place locations as of May 12.