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Pennsylvania Voting Quick Facts

Who Can Register to vote in Pennsylvania

In order to vote in any election, you must first be a registered voter. If you are a first-time voter or have recently moved to a different area or changed your name, you may need to register (or re-register) to vote. The registration process in Pennsylvania is quick and easy, and there are a variety of ways you can register.

To register to vote in the State of Pennsylvania, an individual must meet the following qualifications:

  • Must be a US citizen for at least one month before the next primary, special, municipal, or general election.
  • A resident of Pennsylvania and the election district in which you want to register and vote for at least 30 days before the next primary, special, municipal, or general election.
  • At least 18 years of age on or before the day of the next primary, special, municipal, or general election.

Learn more about Who Can Register To Vote In Pennsylvania?

How Do I Register To Vote in Pennsylvania

Voting At The Polls On Election Day

WHAT IS AN ACCEPTABLE FORM OF IDENTIFICATION FOR VOTING

If you’re voting for the first time in an upcoming election, the information below can help you ensure you’re prepared once you arrive at the polls. All voters who appear at a polling place for the first time must show proof of identification. Approved forms of photo identification include:

  • Pennsylvania driver’s license or PennDOT ID card
  • ID issued by any Commonwealth agency
  • ID issued by the U.S. Government
  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. Armed Forces ID
  • Student ID
  • Employee ID

If you do not have a photo ID, you can use a non-photo identification that includes your name and address. Approved forms of non-photo identification include: Confirmation issued by the County Voter Registration Office

  • Non-photo ID issued by the Commonwealth
  • Non-photo ID issued by the U.S. Government >
  • Firearm permit
  • Current utility bill
  • Current bank statement >
  • Current paycheck
  • Government check

Learn more about Voting at the Polls on Election Day

Who Can Vote in Primary Elections in Pennsylvania

Both Democrats and Republicans hold Closed Primaries

A primary election is an election in which a political party nominates its candidates for an upcoming general election. The rules for voting in primary elections vary from state to state. In Pennsylvania: You must be registered and enrolled in a political party to vote in that party's primary.

All registered voters are entitled to vote on Constitutional amendments, ballot questions and in all special elections that might be held at the same time as a primary election.

Click here for additional information

Who Can Vote Absentee in Pennsylvania

What I need to know about voting by Absentee Ballot due to the Voter ID Law

Who may apply to vote absentee?

  • An individual who is or may be in the military service of the United States, regardless of whether at the time of voting the person is present in the election district of residence or in the Commonwealth and regardless of whether the elector is registered to vote.
  • A spouse or dependent residing with or accompanying a person in the military service of the United States and who expects on Election Day to be absent from his/her municipality of residence during the entire period in which the polling places are open for voting (7 a.m. to 8 p.m.).
  • A member of the Merchant Marine, and his/her spouse and dependents residing with or accompanying the Merchant Marine, who expect on Election Day to be absent from the Commonwealth or the municipality of residence during the entire period in which the polling places are open for voting (7 a.m. to 8 p.m).
  • A member of a religious or welfare group attached to and serving with the armed forces, and their spouse and dependents residing with or accompanying him or her, who expect on Election Day to be absent from the Commonwealth or the municipality of residence during the entire period in which the polling places are open for voting (7 a.m. to 8 p.m).
  • An individual who, because of the elector's duties, occupation or business (including leaves of absence for teaching, vacations, and sabbatical leaves), expects on Election Day to be absent from his/her municipality of residence during the entire period the polls are open for voting, and the spouse and dependents of such electors who are residing with or accompanying the elector and for that reason also expect to be absent from his/her municipality during the entire period the polls are open for voting (7 a.m. to 8 p.m).
  • A qualified war veteran elector who is bedridden or hospitalized due to illness or physical disability if the elector is absent from the municipality of his residence and unable to attend his/her polling place because of such illness or disability, regardless of whether the elector is registered to vote.
  • A person who, because of illness or physical disability, is unable to attend his/her polling place or to operate a voting machine and obtain assistance by distinct and audible statements. (Note: A disabled elector may be placed on a permanently disabled absentee file).
  • A spouse or dependent accompanying a person employed by the Commonwealth or the Federal Government, in the event that the employee's duties, occupation or business on Election Day require him/her to be absent from the Commonwealth or the municipality of residence during the entire period the polls are open for voting (7 a.m. to 8 p.m).
  • A county employee who expects that his Election Day duties relating to the conduct of the election will prevent the employee from voting.

Learn more about Voting By Absentee Ballot In Pennsylvania

What If My Address Has Changed

College Student

  • If you’re a student in Pennsylvania who has moved to a new county or a new state to attend college, you can still vote. As a college student, you have two choices on where you register to vote. You have the right to register and vote where you live now, whether that is an on-campus or off-campus address. Or, you may choose to register or remain registered and vote at your prior home address.
  • Voting is easy. As long as you are registered, you will be able to vote on Election Day. You’ll want to make sure to:
  • Know the location of your polling place
  • Familiarize yourself with the voting system at your polling place by viewing the voting system demonstration
  • Can’t make it to the polls on Election Day? Learn about when and how to use absentee and alternative ballots.
  • In Pennsylvania, polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The busiest times of day to vote are before and after normal working hours. If you can, try going at less-busy times. If you are in line by the time the polls close, you must be allowed to cast your vote.

Person Who Has Recently Moved

  • If you have recently moved, keep the following guidelines in mind:
  • If you moved from the residence where you are registered to vote to another Pennsylvania residence less than 30 days before an election, you must vote at your former residence. When you arrive to vote, tell the local Election Official of your change of address so that you can vote correctly at your new address in the future.
  • After the election, but at least 30 days prior to the next election, change your voter registration by submitting a new Voter Registration Application form. Simply select the box that says 'Change of Address'.
  • If you have moved more than 30 days before an election but did not change your address with Voter Registration Officials, you must vote at the polling place of your old residence, where you are registered to vote. However, you may only vote once at the original polling place and you must abide by special procedures, called “fail-safe voting.” These procedures include:
  • If you have moved within the same county, inform the Election Officials at the polling place that you have moved and would like to change your registration by filling out an affirmation that states your new address.
  • You will be permitted to vote at the old polling place based on your previous residence, but the County Voter Registration Commission will update its records after the election.
  • You will receive a new voter certification card in the mail that will show your new address and polling place.
  • You will not be able to vote again at your old polling place (unless, of course, it also serves your new residence).
  • If you have moved to a different county in Pennsylvania, you must inform the Election Officials at your old polling place that you have moved to a different county and would like to have your registration changed. The Election Officials will let you vote at the old polling place based on your former residence, but they will require you to complete an affirmation declaring your new address and county of residence. After the election, the respective county voter registration commission will update their records. You will receive by mail a voter certification card from the new county. You cannot vote in your old county again unless you establish a residence there again and re-register to vote.
  • If you have moved to a different state, you may be required to register before you can vote in your new state of residence. You can cancel your registration in Pennsylvania by completing a Request to Cancel Voter Registration form and mailing it to your former county of residence in Pennsylvania.

Learn more about Movers/college students Voting

Have A Question?

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When Is The Next Election?

Upcoming Elections Calendar - Election dates and deadlines - Check Pennsylvania upcoming elections schedule

Poll Hours: 7:00 AM-8:00 PM

Voting is an easy process. As long as you are registered, you will be able to vote on Election Day. Voting systems vary from county to county, so know what to expect before you arrive at your polling location

How can I find my polling location?

If you do not know where your polling place is,you can use www.votespa.com If you have any issues or questions, please contact your County Clerk

Can I Register At The Polls On Election Day?

NO: Pennsylvania does not provide Same Day Voter Registration. You must register to vote by the voter registration deadline in order to vote in an election. If you miss the voter registration deadline for an election you should contact your local election office.

Can I Take Time Off For Voting?

Time off to vote is subject to the employer. Pennsylvania state law does not require employers to grant time off to vote for employees.

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