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Voting & Elections Toolkits

Voter Registration in Pennsylvania

Eligibility

  • Age: At least 17 and turning 18 before Election Day
  • Formerly incarcerated individuals: May vote if not in prison and not on parole. Individuals on probation may vote.
  • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Residence: Must be a resident of Pennsylvania and the election district in which you are registering for at least 30 days before the next election.
  • A college student may register to vote at the on or off campus address or as an absentee ballot in their home state or PA county.
  • Check to see if you are already registered.

For more information, please visit the Voting and Elections guide of Pennsylvania.  https://www.pa.gov/guides/voting-and-elections/

Deadline

  • Voter registration deadlines are determined by the date of the election.
  • April 13, 2020 is the registration deadline for the next 2020 election
  • October 19, 2020 is the last day to register for the next general election
  • Guidelines.
  • Election Calendar
  • Mail-in and absentee voting

Online registration

To use the online voter registration system you must have a current and valid driver’s license, learner’s permit or non-driver photo identification card issued by the PA  Department of Transportation (PA DOT). 

Online registration form (in English and Spanish).

Mail-in registration

Printable forms (in English and Spanish).

Refer to the box below for information about ID requirements.

Choosing a political party : You may choose a political party affiliation when you register, but it is not required.                 

Updating registration      

To update registration please fill out a registration form.

Cancelling registration

To cancel registration to vote fill out the following form and mail or present to your county voting office.

County Voting office: Contact your election officials by using this interactive map.

 

ID Requirements for Pennsylvania Voters

ID Requirements for Registration

Online Registration

For online voter registration, a Pennsylvania drivers license or state ID is required.Mail-in Registration

An ID is not required for mail-in registration, but you must provide one of the documents listed on the form to verify residence:

  • Driver’s license number, OR
  • Last four digits of Social Security number, OR
  • You must present either a current and valid photo ID with your name and address, OR
  • U.S. Passport

If you cannot meet any of the above requirements, you may sign an affidavit and cast a provisional ballot subject to verification of your eligibility to vote.

Since the start of the pandemic in 2020 Governor Wolf has issued Executive Order 2020-02 to allow for mail-in voting.

ID Requirements for Voting

First-Time Voters

First-time voters who meet certain requirements must present either a current and valid photo ID with their name and address OR a U.S. Passport name and address.

If you cannot meet either of the above requirements, you may sign an affidavit and cast a provisional ballot subject to verification of your eligibility to vote.

All Other Voters

Voters who are not voting for the first time can present:

  • PA DOT, U.S. Passport, PA Commonwealth photo ID, U.S. Armed Services ID, 

For more information regarding identification needed to vote.

Where to get an ID

PA DOT Driver and Vehicle Services; 

Locations

Obtaining a Driver’s License

Casting a Ballot in Pennsylvania

Important Dates

  • Primary Election: April 28, 2020
  • General Election: November 3, 2020

Absentee voting

Opening/closing date

  • .Absentee ballot applications for the April 28, 2020 primary election must be received by your county election office by 5pm on Tuesday, April 21, 2020
  • Absentee ballot applications for the November election must be received by your county election board by by 5pm November 17, 2020.
  • absentee ballots must be mailed by 11:59pm of the day of the election and received no later than one week after the election.

Who is eligible to use an absentee ballot?

In order to apply for and receive an absentee ballot, you must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Active service in the Armed Forces of the United States
  • Absence from the town during all of the hours of voting
  • An illness
  • Religious tenets forbid secular activity on the day of the election, primary or referendum
  • Duties as a primary, election or referendum official at a polling place other than my own during all of the hours of voting
  • A physical disability

Application for Absentee Ballot (English).

Polling places and hours

  • Use the polling places to find your polling place.
  • For a general election or primary, polls in Connecticut are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Check with the County Election Office regarding voting hours for referendums
  • Time off to vote: Pennsylvania does not require employers to give employees time off to vote.

Rides to the polls

Many organizations offer free rides to polling places. Some of these include:

  • Lyft provides free or discounted rides in some underserved communities
  • Political parties sometimes arrange rides for voters. Contact the local office:

Help for voters with disabilities

  • Protection and Advocacy for Voting Access (PAVA) program.

    Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania (DRN)
    301 Chestnut St, Suite 300
    Harrisburg, PA 17101

    Phone: (717) 236-8110 | Toll-free: (800) 692-7443
    Fax: (717) 236-0192
    TDD: (877) 375-7139
    Email: drnpa-hbg@disabilityrightspa.org
    Web: www.disabilityrightspa.org

    CAP 
    PA Client Assistance Program 
    1515 Market St, Suite 1300
    Philadelphia, PA 19102

    Phone: (215) 557-7112 | Fax: (215) 557-7602
    Email: spenningtonlaw@aol.com
    Web: www.equalemployment.org

  • If you have a permanent disability, you may be eligible to apply for a permanent absentee ballot from your County Election Office

Ballots

Where to get more info on candidates; League of Women Voters.

Referenda

Sample ballots

Since each county has different candidates, it is best to go to your own County Election Offices.

Elections

Primaries vs. general elections

  • Primary elections are conducted to select each party’s candidates in the general election.
  • In Pennsylvania, a voter must be a member of a political party in order to vote in that party’s primary.
  • In a general election, voters are not required to have a party affiliation.

Jurisdiction

Offices/Measures That May Appear on the Ballot

   

Who are the candidates, and what else is on the ballot?

Important Dates

Election Day is November 3, 2020

Dates of other elections and filings can be found on the PA Department of State website.

Who conducts elections?

  • The Pennsylvania Secretary of State is the Commissioner of Elections and oversees statewide and local elections
  • New Voting System in PA

Voter Bill of Rights

 

Where to go with complaints about candidates or how elections are conducted

PA Department of State online form for complaints

Campaign finance

Campaign Finance Information is through the PA Department of State or the County Election Offices. State fillings are searchable on the following website.

How to contact your elected officials:

 

General Resources on Voting and Elections

General Resources on Voting and Elections


Hotlines


1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)

1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)

1-888-API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance)


Voter Registration & Election Day Resources

Find useful voter information including:

  • Local Election Office and Contact Information
  • Address, Telephone and Email for Local Election Offices
  • Upcoming Federal Election Dates and Deadlines
  • Upcoming State Election Dates and Deadlines
  • Eligibility Requirements
  • Identification Requirements
  • Voter Materials Transmission Options
  • State Lookup Tools – Am I Registered? Where’s my Ballot?

Population-Specific information and Resources

Voting Rights: Laws, Cases, Policy

Voter Engagement

Voter Education

Campaign Finance/Funding Information

Primary Sources, Lesson Plans & Exhibits

Disclaimer

Librarians from the Government Documents Round Table (GODORT), a Round Table of the American Library Association (ALA), created these reference guides. These guides are intended for informational purposes only and are not in any way intended to be legal advice.

These guides are designated with a Creative Commons license and re-use and modification for educational purposes is encouraged.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.