Pennsylvania

Upcoming Elections

2022-10-24 – Registration Deadline

Mon Oct 24, 2022

2022-11-01 – Ballot Request Deadline

Tue Nov 1, 2022 5:00PM EDT

2022-11-08 – Ballot Return Deadline (Received by)

Received by Tue Nov 8, 2022 8:00PM

Last Updated: March 2022

Voting in Pennsylvania

Who Can Vote in the Primary

You MUST be registered in a political party to vote in that party’s primary.

  • If you are registering to vote for the first time, you can select your political party at the time you register
  • Additionally, you can change your political party at any time by selecting the box that says “Change of Party” on the voter registration form
  • To vote in the May 17, 2022 primary election, you must register in a political party by Monday, May 2, 2022

If you are not registered to a political party and therefore cannot vote as to the candidates for that party’s nomination, if there are general ballot questions on the ballot during the primary election on May 17, 2022, or other non-primary issues, you will be able to vote on those matters.

When You Can Vote In-Person

Election Day 

Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on Election Day.  You can line up before 7:00 a.m. Additionally, if you are in line by 8:00 p.m., you will be allowed to vote and are entitled to do so.  

For more information on voting at a polling place, visit the vote.pa.gov website at Voting at a Polling Place

Early In-Person Voting by Mail-in or Absentee Ballot:

Early in-person voting begins as soon as ballots are finalized and available (check your county’s website or call your county to confirm ballots are ready).  Once available, registered voters may go to their county election board or other officially designated location to vote early in-person by mail-in or absentee ballot.  Click here to find the location of your county election board.  At the county election board or other designated location, you will apply for either a mail-in or absentee ballot.  Be sure to bring either your PennDOT ID number or the last 4 digits of your Social Security number.   The county election officials will process your application while you wait (this may take a few minutes).  Once verified, you will receive your ballot, which you will then fill out and hand in.

For more information on voting early in-person by mail-in or absentee ballot, visit the vote.pa.gov website at Voting Early In-Person by Mail-In or Absentee Ballot.

By MailSee below for more information on voting by mail.  Your mail-in or absentee ballot, which can be mailed or returned in person to your county board of election or other designated location (such as any satellite county election office) as soon as you receive it, must be received (not just postmarked) by your county board of election or designated location by 8:00 p.m on Election Day.

Where You Can Vote

How to Find Your Polling Place

Before voting in person on Election Day, a voter can determine his or her proper polling place by using the Department of State’s polling place search tool

Where to Return Mail-In or Absentee Ballots

A voter must return either by mail or in person an absentee or mail-in ballot to their county board of election or designated location.  They cannot vote by mail-in or absentee ballot by returning it to their polling place.  Return locations can be found at the vote.pa.gov website at Where Do I Return By Ballot or Vote in Person?

Registering to Vote

Registration Deadlines

  • The voter registration deadline for the Pennsylvania State General Election is Mon Oct 24, 2022.

How to Check Your Registration: Voters can determine whether they are registered to vote at the following link: Am I Registered?.

You are eligible to vote in Pennsylvania if you:

  • Are a U.S citizen
  • Are a resident of Pennsylvania
  • Are at least 18 years old by Election Day
  • Live in the precinct where you vote for at least 30 days prior to the election

How to register 

  • Pennsylvania State General Election
    • Register By: Mon Oct 24, 2022

How to Check Your Registration 

To verify your registration status, visit the Department of State’s website at Find Voter Registration Status

In addition, you can check voter registration status (if unable to check on-line): 

Registration Eligibility: In order to be eligible to register to vote in Pennsylvania, you must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States for at least one month before the election;
  • Be a resident of Pennsylvania and the election district in which you want to register for at least 30 days before the election; and
  • Be at least 18 years old on or before election day. 

For more information on voter registration requirements, visit the vote.pa.gov website at Voter Registration Requirements.

Additionally, a voter cannot register to vote in Pennsylvania if the voter:

  • Is currently confined in a penal institution for conviction of a felony and will not be released from confinement until after the next election. This is true even if you are also incarcerated for one or more misdemeanor offenses.
  • Is in a halfway house or other alternative correctional facility on pre-release status for conviction of a felony and who will not get released until after the date of the next election.
  • Is convicted of violating any provision of the Pennsylvania Election Code within the last four years. 

However, you can register and vote if you:

  • Are a pretrial detainee, confined in a penal institution awaiting trial on charges of a felony or a misdemeanor;
  • Were ever convinced of a misdemeanor;
  • Got released or will get released by the date of the next election from a correctional facility or halfway home (upon completion of the term of incarceration for conviction of a misdemeanor or a felony);
  • Are on probation or released on parole (including parolees who are living in a halfway house);
  • Are under house arrest (i.e., home confinement), no matter your conviction status or status of the conditions of confinement. 

If you are in a penal institution, your residence for voter registration is:

  • The last address where you registered to vote before confinement, or
  • Your last known address before confinement, or 
  • A new residence established while confined (e.g., if your spouse moves to a new address where you intend to live).

When registering to vote, you cannot use a penal institution or halfway house as your residence address where you live. 

For more information on voter restrictions related to criminal convictions, visit the vote.pa.gov website at Information for People Who Have Been Convicted of a Felony.

How to Register: Pennsylvania residents may register to vote in one of the following ways:

Online

You can register on the Pennsylvania Department of State’s website by filling out an online form.  You should have either your Pennsylvania driver’s license or PennDOT ID number.  If you don’t have either of these forms of ID, you will need to enter the last 4 digits of your Social Security number.  If you do not have any of these, you cannot register online and will need to register to vote either by mail or in-person.  See section below regarding Identification Required for Registration for more information. 

If you have a Pennsylvania  driver’s license or PennDOT ID number, the signature on file at PennDOT will be sent to your county voter registration office and become part of your voter record.  

If you do not have a Pennsylvania driver’s license or PennDOT ID number, you must provide a signature to complete the voter registration process, which you can do in one of three ways:

  1. Upload a digital image of your signature to submit with the voter registration form.  To do this, you must take a photograph of your signature in blue or black ink on white paper.
  2. Print, sign, and mail the voter registration application to your county voter registration office.
  3. Request a signature form from the Department of State.  Sign the form and mail it back to your county voter registration office.

The state encourages voters to use either option 1 or 2, as option 3 – requesting a signature form – significantly delays the voter registration process.  If you still decide to request and mail in your signature form, that form must be received by the registration deadline.  

By Mail

In order to register by mail, you can obtain a registration form by downloading and printing a mail-in form from the Pennsylvania Department of State’s Website

Additionally, you can request that a copy of the registration form be mailed to you by emailing [email protected] or by calling 1-877-868-3772.

Once it is filled in and signed, you can mail it to your county voter registration office.

In Person

You can register to vote at your county’s board of voter registration.  Click here to find your county voter registration office.  You can also register to vote at many state government offices, including:

  • 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
  • Any agency using the Compass application
  1. PennDOT

You can register to vote at any Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) photo or driver’s license center when you obtain or update your driver’s license.  To find a PennDOT location near you, visit the Locations Info Center.

If your registration is accepted you will get a voter registration card in the mail.  The voter registration card will show your name, address, party affiliation (if you register to vote in a primary), and the address where you will vote.  If your voter registration card does not come in the mail within 14 days, contact your county voter registration office.

For more information on registering to vote, visit the vote.pa.gov website at How and Where to Register to Vote.

Identification Required for Registration: The Pennsylvania Voter Registration Application asks for you to provide the number of your Pennsylvania driver’s license or PennDOT ID number.  If you do not have one of these forms of ID, you can provide the last 4 digits of your Social Security number.  If you do not have any of the above, you will need to register to vote either by mail or in-person and provide a photocopy of one of an acceptable ID.  Please visit the vote.pa.gov website at Voter ID for First Time Voters for a list of approved forms of ID.

Voting Early & by Mail-In or Absentee Ballot

If You Want to Vote Absentee, requests may be made:

  • In-Person
  • By Mail
  • Online

Absentee Ballots may be returned:

  • In-Person
  • By Mail
Pennsylvania State General Election

Ballot Request:

  • Tue Nov 1, 2022 5:00PM EDT

Ballot Return:

  • Received by Tue Nov 8, 2022 8:00PM

If you Want to Vote Early In-Person 

Pennsylvania allows for early in-person voting by mail-in or absentee ballot, where the voter goes to his/her county election board or other designated location, applies to vote by mail-in or absentee voting and waits for application to be verified and processed, receives the ballot while waiting, fills it in (if eligible), seals it in the white inner secrecy envelope indicating “official elections ballot” and the inner secrecy envelope inside the pre-addressed outer return envelope, and complete, signs and dates declaration on outside of outer return envelope and returns it ballot in-person to the county election board. 

There is no early voting on voting machines.

Voting By Absentee or Mail-in Ballot (Not in Person)

A voter can also request that an absentee or mail-in ballot be mailed to him/her.  The voter can then return the completed ballot by mail or by returning it at the county election board or designated location.

Who Can Vote by Mail-in Ballot

Any registered Pennsylvania voter can vote by mail-in ballot. The voter does not need to provide a reason or excuse in order to vote by mail. 

However, on January 28, 2022, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court struck down Act 77, which made absentee and mail-in voting available to all eligible voters, as a violation of Article VII, Section 14 of the Pennsylvania Constitution. This decision was appealed and argued before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on March 8, 2022. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s ruling on this issue could potentially limit no-excuse mail-in ballot access in future elections. In the meantime, the Pennsylvania Department of State still encourages voters to request mail-in ballots for the May 2022 primary election, and is in the process of notifying all county election boards to proceed with all primary election preparations as they were before the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court decision.

Who Can Vote by Absentee Ballot

The following people may vote by absentee ballot if they are registered to vote:  

  • Members of the military, regardless of whether or not the individual is present in their municipality of residence on election day;
  • Members of the Merchant Marines, religious or welfare groups officially attached to and serving with the armed forces, spouses and dependents of such individuals, and spouses and dependents of members of the military, provided, however, the individual is absent from their municipality of residence on election day;
  • A voter who is ill or physically disabled;
  • A voter who expects to be away from their municipality of residence on election day from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.;
  • A county employee who will be unable to attend the polls due to election day obligations;
  • A voter is unable to go to the polls on election day due to a religious holiday.

Applying for Mail-In and Absentee Ballots

Pennsylvania residents may apply for a mail-in or absentee ballot one of the following ways:

  1. Online:  Registered voters can apply for an absentee or mail-in ballot on the Pennsylvania Department of State’s website.  To apply for either a mail-in or absentee ballot online, you must provide your Pennsylvania Driver’s License number or PennDOT ID number on your absentee or mail-in ballot form.  If you do not have a Pennsylvania Driver’s License or PennDOT ID number, you will need to provide the last four digits of your Social Security number on your absentee or mail-in ballot form.  If you do not have a Pennsylvania Driver’s License, PennDOT ID number or a Social Security number, you must provide a signature with your application by either:

Uploading a digital image of your signature.  To do this, you must take a photograph of your signature in blue or black ink on white paper.

Print, sign, and mail the application to your county voter registration office.

If you do not have a valid form of any of these types of identification, you will have to complete a paper mail-in or absentee ballot application and enclose a photocopy of an acceptable ID, which shows your name, a photo, and an expiration date that is current.  You can find a list of acceptable forms of ID by visiting the vote.pa.gov website at Voting by Mail-In or Absentee Ballot is Safe, Secure, and Easy.

2. By Mail: Use the following links to obtain applications for mail-in and absentee ballots:

3. In-Person Application: You may also apply for a mail-in or absentee ballot at your county election board or at a satellite election office, if the county has designated satellite offices.  At that time, a voter may apply for a mail in or absentee ballot, have the application approved, and be presented with the appropriate mail in or absentee voter packet.  They can then mark the ballot, insert it in the secrecy envelope, insert the secrecy envelope into the outer return envelope, and return it to the county election board or its designated location prior to the deadline.

Completing and Returning the Mail-in or Absentee BallotA voter must complete the ballot in either blue or black ink.  Once completed, the voter must place the ballot in the white inner secrecy envelope labeled “official election ballot,”  and seal the inner secrecy envelope and put it into the pre-addressed outer return envelope which the voter must sign, date and seal. For more information on how to fill out your mail-in or absentee ballot, visit the vote.pa.gov website at Voting by Mail-In or Absentee Ballot is Safe, Secure, and Easy.

Voters who do not seal and put their ballots in the inner secrecy envelope or who do not sign the declaration will not have their vote counted.

Submission & Deadlines: A voter can return his/her mail-in or absentee ballot by:

  • Mailing it to the voter’s county board of elections; 
  • Dropping it off in person at the board of elections’ office; or 
  • Returning it to a certified ballot drop box or satellite elections’ office.  

You CANNOT return a completed absentee or mail-in ballot at your polling place.

For more information on completing and returning your ballot, visit the vote.pa.gov website at Where do I Return my Ballot or Vote in Person?

Generally, you must deliver your ballot yourself.  If you are physically unable to deliver your ballot yourself, you may fill out a “Certification of Designated Agent” form, which allows you to designate a representative, in writing, to deliver the ballot to and/or from you.  Click here to access the Designated Agent Form.

The county board of elections must receive a voted mail-in or absentee ballot by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day in order for it to be counted.   This includes ballots sent via mail.  Postmarks are not enough! 

If you received a mail-in ballot or absentee ballot and submitted the ballot, you may not vote at your polling place on Election Day.  

If you requested a mail-in ballot or absentee ballot but did not return the ballot, you may vote in-person at your polling place if you surrender your mail-in or absentee ballot and the envelopes to your polling place to be voided.  If you do not surrender your ballot and envelopes, you can only vote by provisional ballot at your polling place. 

For more information on voting by mail-in or absentee ballot, visit the vote.pa.gov website at Voting by Mail-In or Absentee Ballot is Safe, Secure, and Easy.

Identification Requirements

Voter Registration

To register to vote in Pennsylvania you should provide one of the following:

  • Your Pennsylvania Driver’s License Number
  • Your Pennsylvania ID Number

If you do not have these IDs, you may provide:

  • Last Four Digits of your Social Security Number

If you do not have one of these forms of ID and need help getting ID, go to www.voteriders.org.

Voting In-Person

If you registered to vote in Pennsylvania, you may be required to present valid ID if you are voting for the first time or your registration is incomplete. You can use any ID from this list:

  • Valid Federal Issued ID
  • Valid ID Issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles, Transportation, Highway Safety, etc.
  • ID Issued by Commonwealth Agency
  • Valid Employee ID
  • Valid Pennsylvania Driver’s License
  • Valid Student ID
  • Valid Military ID
  • Valid US Passport
  • License to Carry Concealed Weapon or Firearm

If you do not have a photo ID, you can use a non-photo identification that includes your name and address from the following list:

  • Bank Statement
  • Pay Check
  • Government Check
  • License to Carry Concealed Weapon or Firearm
  • Voter Registration Card
  • Valid Federal issued ID
  • Valid Pennsylvania Issued ID
  • Utility Bill

A non-photo ID must contain your current address. If you do not have one of the Pennsylvania valid IDs and need help getting ID, go to www.voteriders.org.

For more information regarding ID requirements for first time voters, visit the vote.pa.gov website at Voter ID for First Time Voters.

If You Have Moved Within Your State

Within Pennsylvania

When you move, you should update your registration.  For more information regarding updating your registration, visit the vote.pa.gov website at How to Update Your Registration.  However, if you haven’t, you still may be able to vote, see below:

  • If you moved within 30 days before an election, you will vote at the polling place for your old address.  When at the polling place:
    • Tell the election official when you vote that you have moved
    • They will have you fill out a form to update your registration to reflect your new address
    • You will then be permitted to vote at your old polling place
    • You will receive an updated registration card reflecting your new address
  • For all subsequent elections, you MUST vote at your new polling place. 
  • If you moved within Pennsylvania more than 30 days before an election but did not update your registration, you can vote at the polling place for your old address for one election.
  • If you moved within the same county, you must tell the election officials at the polling place of your new address.  They will update your voter registration and send you a new voter registration card. 
  • If you moved to a different county, you need to fill out a form with your new address and the county where you moved.  After the election, the county election office for both your old and new addresses will update your voter registration.  You will receive a new voter registration card matching your new address.

From Another State

You must be a resident of Pennsylvania and your election district for at least 30 days before Election day and must have registered to vote before the deadline.

If You are in the Military or are an Overseas Voter

Voting Military

Service members and their dependents may register and request a ballot using the overseas voter registration/ballot request form (“FPCA”). You may include the following ID:

  • Pennsylvania ID Card
  • Last 4 Digits of your Social Security Number
  • Option to Indicate that you do not have the Requested ID

Voting Overseas

U.S. citizens living overseas may register and request a ballot using the overseas voter registration/ballot request form. You may include the following ID:

  • Option to Indicate that you do not have the Requested ID
  • Pennsylvania ID Card
  • Last 4 Digits of your Social Security Number

For more information regarding military and overseas voters, including alternate methods to register to vote, apply for an absentee ballot, and cast your absentee ballot, visit the vote.pa.gov website at Information for Military and Overseas Voters

If You Have a Felony Convicion

You are eligible to vote UNLESS you: 

  • Are currently confined in a penal institution for conviction of a felony (even if you are also incarcerated for one or more misdemeanor offenses) and will not be released from confinement before the date of the next election; 
  • Are in a community confinement facility or other alternative correctional facility for conviction of a felony and will not be released before the date of the next election; or
  • Were convicted of violating any provision of the Pennsylvania Election Code within the last four years. 

If you do not fall into one of these categories, and if you were previously registered to vote, you should confirm that you are still registered at the correct address, and re-register if necessary before the registration deadline.  If you were not previously registered to vote, register to vote before the registration deadline, which is Monday, May 2, 2022. 

For more information on voter restrictions related to criminal convictions, visit the vote.pa.gov website at Information for People Who Have Been Convicted of a Felony.

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