Registration Deadline: In Pennsylvania, the deadline to register to vote is 30 days prior to each election. Applications received after that date will be processed for the next primary, special, municipal or general election.
- 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.
VOTER REGISTRATION QUALIFICATIONS
Age: At least 18 years of age on or before the day of the next primary, special, municipal, or general election.
Citizenship: Must be a United States citizen for at least one month before the next primary, special, municipal, or general election.
Residency: Must be 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.
Mental Competency: Pennsylvania puts no restrictions on voting on the basis of mental competency.
Felony Convictions: Voting rights restored automatically after release from prison. Learn more about restoring rights after committing a felony.
ID Requirements: To register you must provide a Pennsylvania driver's license number or the last four digits of your social security number. If you have neither of these you may be required to bring more identification when you are voting for the first time.
If you intend to vote absentee for the first time in a federal election include a copy of a form of identification with the voter registration mail application. Otherwise you will be required to send a copy of identification with your absentee ballot.
OBTAINING A VOTER REGISTRATION FORM
In person: You can register to vote at a PA Department of Transportation photo license center when you obtain or update your driver's license. In addition, you can register to vote at a County Voter Registration Office or other designated sites
- State offices that provide public assistance and services to persons with disabilities
- Armed Forces Recruitment Centers
- County Clerk of Orphans' Court offices, including each Marriage License Bureau
- Area Agencies on Aging
- Centers for Independent Living
- County Mental Health and Mental Retardation offices
- Student disability services offices of the State System of Higher Education
- Offices of Special Education
- DA Complementary Paratransit offices
By mail/ in writing: You can register to vote by mail in two ways:
- Download the Pennsylvania Voter Registration Mail Application. The Secretary of the Commonwealth and all county registration commissions supply Voter Registration Mail Applications to all persons and organizations who request them, including candidates, political parties and political bodies and other federal, state and municipal offices.
- Complete, sign and deliver to your county elections office by mail or in person.
Other Voter Registration Application Information: Once you have registered to vote, you are not required to register again unless you change your residence, name, or political party affiliation.
VERIFYING YOUR VOTER REGISTRATION STATUS
Phone: You can also confirm your registration by contacting your county elections office or by calling 1-877-VOTESPA.
ABSENTEE BALLOT QUALIFICATIONS
Who can vote absentee: The following people may vote for any office in any election by absentee ballot as long as they are registered to vote (unless otherwise indicated):
- A person 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 he or she 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 or 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 his/her 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.
- A person who will not attend a polling place on Election Day because of the observance of a religious holiday.
OBTAINING AN ABSENTEE BALLOT
In person: Obtain and complete an application for an absentee ballot at your local county elections office.
Military and overseas voting: Military members are eligible to vote by absentee ballot and to receive their ballot by email. Military members may also complete an application through the Federal Voter Assistance Program in order to vote. Learn more about voting as a military voter, request emailed ballots, and download applications here.
Overseas Voters have similar exceptions to military voters and may learn more here.
Emergency Voting: Emergency Absentee Ballot Applications are available at the county Board of Elections Office. If you have an emergency and did not apply for an absentee ballot by 5 p.m. on the Tuesday prior to Election Day, you may download and apply for an Emergency Absentee Ballot. This application must be notarized before it is submitted.
Other absentee ballot information: If you would like to designate another person to assist you in delivering a completed absentee or alternative ballot, print, complete and return the following forms to the County Board of Elections:
SUBMITTING AN ABSENTEE BALLOT
Location and time: The County Board of Elections must receive your application for absentee ballot no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Tuesday before the election. The County Board of Elections must receive non-emergency civilian absentee ballots by 5pm the Friday before the Election. Members of the military voting by absentee ballot must affirm that their ballots were submitted for delivery by 11:59 PM on the day before Election Day, and the County Board of Elections must receive their ballot by 5 p.m. seven days after Election Day.
Early voting qualifications: Early voting is unavailable, however, select voters may use absentee voting to vote before election day.
Verifying Registration: Online voter registration database
Deciding how to vote: http://votesmart.org/
Polling Place: Polling place locator
ID Requirements: 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
How to Vote: Voting system demonstrations
Getting your vote counted: Know your voter rights.
Problems with voting: HAVA complaint procedures or contact the County Board of Elections
Verifying provisional ballot status: Search for your provisional ballot status.
Verifying absentee ballot status: login to the SURE Public portal and click the Absentee Ballot Status link.