2014 Primary Election: April 20, 2014
2014 General Election: October 6, 2014
You must register 30 days before the election
How to Check Your Registration Status
Visit the Pennsylvania Depart of State's Voting Information Center website.
Eligibility Requirements to Register
To register to vote in Pennsylvania, a person must be:
Once a person has registered to vote, he or she is not required to register again unless either residence, name, or political party affiliation has changed.
Generally, identification is not needed to register to vote in Pennsylvania. However, the registration form requires an applicant's Pennsylvania driver’s license number or the last four digits of the applicant's social security number. If an applicant does not have either, he or she may check the box in the appropriate field.
If You Want to Vote Early
There is no early voting in Pennsylvania.
If You Want to Vote Absentee
The following people may vote for any office in any election by absentee ballot as long as they are registered to vote:
Voters must provide driver’s license number, last 4 digits of Social Security Number, or a copy of an accepted photo ID when applying for an absentee ballot. First-time voters must supply an accepted ID.
In Pennsylvania, the County Board of Elections must receive your application for absentee ballot no later than 5 p.m. on the Tuesday before the election. In emergency situations (such as an unexpected illness or disability) you can submit an Emergency Application for Absentee Ballot, which must be submitted no later than 5 p.m. on the Friday before Election Day. Completed non-emergency absentee ballots must be received by 5 p.m. on the Friday before Election Day.
Identification Required to Register to Vote
As noted above, identification is not needed to register to vote in Pennsylvania. However, the registration form requires an applicant's Pennsylvania driver’s license number or the last four digits of the applicant's social security number. If an applicant does not have either, he or she may check the box in the appropriate field.
Identification Required to Vote
A state court recently held that Pennsylvania’s recently-passed voter identification law violated the state constitution, so currently the requirements of that law do not apply in Pennsylvania.
Voters voting in an election district for the first time must provide one of the following forms of photo identification:
If you do not have any of these forms of photo identification, you can provide the following documents if they contain your name and current address:
If you have registered and voted in the same election district before, you do not need to show identification to vote. You simply need to sign your name, which will then be compared with the signature in the district register.
If you moved at least thirty days before an election, change your voter registration by submitting a new Voter Registration Mail Application form. Simply select the box that says “Change of Address.” Note that in order to vote at your new precinct's polling place, this registration form must be submitted by the voter registration deadline. If you missed the deadline and moved within the state, though, you can still likely vote at your old polling place (see below).
If you moved less than 30 days before an election, you must vote at your former residence's polling location. 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.
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 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.
Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), also known as Standard Form 76, to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot.
Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program's (FVAP) Pennsylvania specific page with deadlines and other information, services and forms for military and overseas voters.
Military and overseas citizens can send and receive voting materials by fax and email. If you wish to use the fax or email options, you must indicate this on your FPCA.
Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) if they are concerned about receiving their printed ballot and returning it by the 7:00 p.m. deadline on Election Day. The FWAB is a blank ballot on which voters write in their choices.
Military and overseas citizens can also use the FWAB to register to vote and to apply for the absentee ballot, all in one step. Please note that FWAB voter registrations must be received by the voter registration deadline. For specific instructions, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program's Pennsylvania-specific page.
Voting rights are restored automatically after release from prison. People on probation or parole are also eligible to vote. People who have had their voting rights restored will need to re-register to vote in accordance with the registration requirements and procedures noted above.
For more information, visit the Pennsylvania Secretary of State website.
For more information for voters with mental disabilities, visit The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law and National Disability Rights Network’s document: “Voting Rights Guide for People with Mental Disabilities”
Information provided by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights
Conducting a Voter Registration Drive in your state? Here are some resources.