PENNSYLVANIA ELECTION INFORMATION

Upcoming Elections in Your State

2018 General Election: November 6, 2018

  • General Election In-Person Voter Registration Deadline: 5:00 p.m. October 9, 2018
  • General Election Online, Email and Fax Voter Registration Deadline: October 9, 2018
  • General Election Mail-In Voter Registration Deadline: Postmarked, October 9, 2018

For more information, visit the Pennsylvania Election Commission website or their online calendar.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

Election Day:

Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Pennsylvania does not permit early voting.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

How to Find Your Polling Place:

Visit the Department of State’s website at: https://www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/Pages/VoterRegistrationStatus.aspx

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

Registration Deadlines: 

You must register 30 days before the election. The Municipal Election Registration Deadline is October 9, 2018. If you send your registration in by mail, the postmark must be on or by the deadline.

Except for a person who was discharged or separated from their service in the Armed Forces and arrived home too late to register, Pennsylvania does not have same day registration

How to Check Your Registration: https://www.pavoterservices.state.pa.gov/pages/voterregistrationstatus.aspx or call 866-OUR-VOTE.

Registration Eligibility:

In order to register in Pennsylvania you must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States;
  • Be a resident of Pennsylvania, this county, and this election district for at least 30 days before the election;
  • Be at least 18 years old on or before election day;
  • Not be convicted of a felony or offense against the election laws or, if previously convicted, have served the entire sentence, including probation or parole, or have received a pardon for the conviction;
  • Not be serving a prison term for a criminal conviction; and
  • Not have been declared mentally incompetent by a court.

You must be a resident of Pennsylvania and your election district for at least 30 days before the next election.

How to Register: Pennsylvania residents may register online, in person, or by mail/fax/email.

Online

In order to register to vote online, you must have either a Pennsylvania Driver’s License or a DMV ID. Applicants can apply to register on the registration page of the Pennsylvania Election Commission’s Website. Applicants must have an updated address with the DMV.

In Person

You may register to vote in person at your county’s board of voter registration whose location can be found at your county’s contact information page.

By Mail/Fax/Email

In order to register by mail, fax, or email, you must obtain a registration form by:

  • Downloading a mail-in form from the Pennsylvania Election Commission’s Website. Mail-in applications must be postmarked by the deadline.
  • Sending the form to your county of board of voter registration at the email address, fax number, or mailing address found on your county’s contact information page.

Identification Required for Registration: If you are registering by mail/fax/email for the first time in this county, you must attach to your registration form a copy of a current valid photo ID or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and address in this county. If you do not provide this information with your form, you must provide it when you vote.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

If You Want to Vote Early

You can find the locations and times of early voting polling places at the absentee voting page.

If You Want to Vote Absentee

Any registered Pennsylvania voter in one of the following categories can request a mail-in absentee ballot if they absent from their county of residence on Election Day during the hours the polls are open:

  • Students, their spouses, and dependents residing with them
  • People serving with the American Red Cross or with the USO who are attached to the Armed Forces, their spouses, and dependents residing with them
  • Governmental employees, their spouses, and dependents residing with them
  • People on vacation
  • Overseas citizens

Voters (or their near relative or legal guardian) can obtain an absentee ballot application on the Pennsylvania Election Commission’s website.

Deadlines

  • An application for an absentee ballot that is submitted by mail must be received by the voter’s county board of elections no later than 5:00 p.m. on October 30, 2018.
  • An application for absentee ballot that is submitted in person will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. on November 2, 2018.

Applying for an Absentee Ballot – The regular deadline for the County Board of Elections to receive your completed application for absentee ballot is 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 30 (the Tuesday before the election).  The County Board of Elections will send you a paper absentee ballot. However, there are emergency provisions after that time (see below).

Returning the Ballot. You must complete your ballot and submit it to the County Board of Elections, which must receive the ballot before 5 p.m. on Friday, November 2 (the Friday before Election Day).  However, in presidential elections, absentee ballots received before 8 p.m. on Election Day will be counted for the offices of the president and the vice president.

Identification. When applying for an absentee ballot, you must provide your driver’s license number, last 4 digits of your Social Security Number, or a copy of an acceptable photo ID (see list below).  If needed, you have six days following an election to provide the necessary identification.  (Note: Voters who are entitled to vote under the Uniformed Military and Overseas Voters Act or by alternative ballot under the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act are exempt from this ID requirement.)

Acceptable forms of photo ID include the following:

  • U.S. Passport
  • U.S. Military ID
  • Employee photo ID issued by federal, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania County, or Pennsylvania Municipal government
  • Photo ID issued by an accredited Pennsylvania public or private institution of higher learning
  • Photo ID issued by a Pennsylvania care facility, including long-term care facilities, assisted-living residences, and personal-care homes.

In case of a voter’s emergency: If you have not requested an absentee ballot but have an emergency and are unable to go to the polls, you may submit a notarized Emergency Absentee Ballot Application to the County Board of Elections between 5:00 p.m. on the Tuesday before Election Day and 5:00 p.m. on the Friday before Election Day.  Given the short window between filing the application and when the ballot must be submitted, the voter may want to consider designating another person to pick up and/or drop off her or his ballot with the County Board of elections, which can be done by filling out this form and having your representative complete this form.

If the emergency occurs between 5:00 p.m. the Friday before Election Day and 8:00 p.m. on Election Day, the voter may complete and file an emergency application (or letter/other signed document that includes the same information as that provided on the emergency application) with the Court of Common Pleas in the county where he or she is registered to vote.  If the voter cannot appear in court, he or she may designate in writing an individual who may obtain an Emergency Absentee Ballot from the Court of Common Pleas and then return it to the County Board of Elections no later than 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. You may want to confirm with the local election office or the court what the procedure and location are for this.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot

Pennsylvania voters are usually not required to show identification at the polling place.[i]  Voters must show identification if they are voting for the first time or if they have not previously voted in their current election district. Any of the following forms of photo ID are acceptable:

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

If voters do not have photo ID, they can also present a document that includes their name and address.  These include:

  • Registration confirmation issued by the County Voter Registration Office;
  • Current utility bill;
  • Current bank statement;
  • Current paycheck;
  • Government check;
  • Non-photo ID issued by the Commonwealth;
  • Non-photo ID issued by the U.S. Government; or
  • Firearm permit.

If the first-time voter does not have ID, they can vote a provisional ballot.

VoteRiders has created Pennsylvania voter ID info cards in English and in Spanish.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

If you moved at least 30 days before an election you must change your voter registration address by submitting a new voter registration form—either online or by mail. Simply select the option for “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 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:

  1. 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;
  2. You will be permitted to vote at the old polling place based on your previous residence, but the county will update its records after the election to reflect your new address;
  3. You will receive a new voter certification card in the mail that will show your new address and polling place; and
  4. You will not be able to vote again at your old polling place (unless, of course, it also serves as your new residence).

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

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 (https://www.fvap.gov/pennsylvania) with deadlines and other information, services and forms for military and overseas voters.

Alternatively, to register to vote, military and overseas citizens can email [email protected] to request a voter registration application, and to receive an absentee ballot application, military and overseas citizens can email [email protected]. Writing to either email address will result in the FPCA being sent to you.

Military and overseas citizens can send and receive voting materials by email.  If you wish to use the email option, you must indicate this on your FPCA.

Military and overseas citizens voting by absentee ballot must have their ballots postmarked on or before the day before Election Day, or if returned electronically then by 11:59 p.m. on the day before Election Day.  The county elections office must receive your ballot by 5 p.m. on the 7th day after the election.

Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) if they are concerned about receiving their printed ballot in time to return the ballot by the deadline.  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 (https://www.fvap.gov/pennsylvania) or email the Pennsylvania Department of State at [email protected]

Deadlines

  • An application for an absentee ballot for the General Election must be received by October 9, 2018.
  • A ballot for the General Election must be received by 5 pm on the second day after the election.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

Individuals who have been convicted of a felony may register to vote unless they are currently serving a felony sentence of incarceration on Election Day. Voters with misdemeanor convictions or on probation are always eligible to vote, and individuals in pre-trial detention may vote via absentee ballot.  However, if a voter was incarcerated for a felony, they will need to re-register to vote before the registration deadline.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

FAQ

Top Issues

For more information for voters with disabilities, find a National Disability Rights Network partner in your area.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!