Illustration by Alex Silber/B&W Staff

Here’s what you need to know to get ready to vote Nov. 3


With the 2020 election less than two months away, The Brown and White compiled a list of important dates and information so you can stay informed and make a plan to vote. 

First steps 

Voter registration application 

Information provided courtesy of

Ways to submit application:

Mail-in ballots versus absentee ballots

  • Mail-in ballot: Any qualified voter may apply for this. You can request this ballot without a reason. 
  • Absentee ballot: You should request this ballot type if you plan to be out of the municipality, have a disability or illness. This requires you to list a reason.

Pennsylvania registration deadlines 

  • The deadline to register in Pennsylvania is Oct. 19. 
  • Anyone in the state of Pennsylvania is able to vote by mail, but the last day to request a ballot is Oct. 27. 
  • The U.S. Postal Service has recommended voters make their absentee ballot requests as soon as possible, but no later than Oct. 19. 

Requesting an absentee ballot in Pennsylvania

  • To request an absentee ballot in Pennsylvania, visit
  • Registration is not complete until it is accepted by your county’s voter registration office.
  • Voter registration status may be checked here.
  • Ballots will start to be mailed in mid-September upon request.

Requesting a mail-in ballot in Pennsylvania

How to find your polling location in Pennsylvania 

Debate dates to know

Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District

Lisa Scheller (R) is running against incumbent Susan Wild (D) for Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District, which includes Lehigh University. There are currently three debates scheduled between the two candidates. 

  • Oct.5 
    • Tony Iannelli of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce is hosting a forum between Wild and Scheller that will air in the evening on WMFZ-TV.
  • Oct. 8
    • The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. is holding a 4 p.m. forum with Wild and Scheller. The event will be streamed on their Facebook page and later posted on their website. 
  • Oct. 13 
    • A third forum between the candidates will be hosted by the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley. Details will be forthcoming. 
Vice Presidential Debate 

Kamala Harris (D) and Mike Pence (R) will engage in one debate prior to Election Day. 

  • Oct. 7
    • Susan Page, Washington Bureau chief of USA TODAY, will host the debate at The University of Utah in Salt Lake City. This debate will be composed of nine 10-minute segments. 
Presidential Debates

President Donald Trump (R) and Democratic nominee Joe Biden will have three debates before Nov. 3.

  • Sept. 29
    • Chris Wallace of “Fox News Sunday” will be hosting the debate at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. The debate will begin at 9 p.m. Eastern Time and will be composed of six 15-minute segments of predetermined topics chosen by the moderator. 
  • Oct. 15
    • Steve Scully, political editor of C-SPAN, will host the debate at Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida. The debate will begin at 9 p.m. Eastern Time and will play out through a town hall forum, featuring questions from the audience.
  • Oct. 22
    • Kristen Welker, NBC News White House correspondent and co-anchor of “Today Weekend,” will be hosting the debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. It is scheduled for 9 p.m. Eastern Time and will be composed of six 15-minute segments of predetermined topics chosen by the moderator. 

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