Pennsylvania Election Information

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Upcoming Elections in Your State

2014 Primary Election: May 20, 2014

2014 General Election: November 4, 2014

For more information, visit the Pennsylvania Department of State website.

Other Important Election Information

Polling Place Hours

Election Day: 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Early voting is not available in Pennsylvania.

 

How to Find Your Polling Place

Visit the Pennsylvania Depart of State's Polling Place Locator website.  You may also visit Vote411’s Polling Place Finder website.

REGISTER TO VOTE HERE

Registration Deadlines

2014 Primary Election: April 20, 2014 

2014 General Election: October 6, 2014 

You must register 30 days before the election.

How to Check if You Are Registered

Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

Visit the Pennsylvania Department of State's Voting Information Center website.

How to Register

To download a registration form, and for more information on registration, visit the Office of Elections Voter Registration page.

Registration Eligibility

To register to vote in Pennsylvania, a person must be:

  • A citizen of the United States for at least one month before the next primary, special, municipal, or general election;
  • A resident of Pennsylvania and the election district in which he or she is registering for at least 30 days before the next primary, special, municipal, or general election; and
  • At least 18 years of age on or before the day of the next primary, special, municipal, or general election.

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.

Identification Required for Registration

Generally, identification is not needed to register to vote in Pennsylvania.  However, the registration form requires an applicant's Pennsylvania driver’s license number, PennDOT Identification 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:

  • 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 Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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; and 
  • A person who will not attend a polling place on Election Day because of the observance of a religious holiday.

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.

Download and print an Absentee Ballot Application and send it to your County Election Office.

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.  The Emergency Application for Absentee Ballot must be notarized prior to submission.  Completed emergency absentee ballots must be received by 5 p.m. on the Friday before Election Day.

Identification Requirements 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 Requirements to Cast a Ballot

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:

  • 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; or
  • Employee ID.

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:

  • Confirmation of residence 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; or
  • Government check.

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.

Moving at Least 30 Days Before an Election

You must 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).

Moving 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 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; and
  • You will not be able to vote again at your old polling place (unless, of course, it also serves as your new residence).

Moving to a Different County 

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 voters may request an absentee ballot application via email at stsvcuocavaabs@pa.gov.

Members of the military voting by absentee ballot must have their ballots postmarked by 5 p.m. on the day before Election Day.

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 5:00 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 or email the Pennsylvania Department of State at  ST-UOCAVAQues@pa.gov

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.

FAQ

Electionary

Top Issues to Field

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.”

For more information for student voters, visit the Pennsylvania Student Voting Guide from the Brennan Center for Justice.

Information provided by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights


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