PA Voter Registration Guide

Disclaimer: This guide is intended as a general reference. It is not a substitute for professional legal guidance. The Committee of Seventy is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the outcomes resulting from the use of this information.


What is the registration deadline for Pennsylvania?

The deadline to register for the May 20, 2014 Primary Election is April 21. This means that completed registration forms must be submitted or postmarked on or before April 21, 2014. However, we urge you to submit application forms as soon as possible to ensure registration and to reduce the last-minute rush.

Who is eligible to register to vote in Pennsylvania?

A person must be a citizen of the United States for at least one month, a resident of Pennsylvania and the election district for at least 30 days, and be at least 18 years old at the next election.

Is Election Day registration allowed?

No. In Pennsylvania, you must be registered by April 21 to vote in the May 2014 Primary Election. 

Where can I get voter registration forms?

You can get voter registration forms at the following locations:

Download a PA Voter Registration form - available in English and Spanish - and mail to your local County Bounty Board of Elections. Locate your local office here.

Pick up Voter Registration forms directly at your local County Board of Elections office.

Registration forms in Pennsylvania should also be available at:

1) U.S. Post Offices

2) Public Libraries

3) State Liquor Stores and other state agencies

If you are conducting a voter registration drive in Pennsylvania and need a large quantity of applications, call 1-800-552-VOTE or your County Board of Elections.
 
You can also register in person at the following locations:

Your County Board of Elections. Locate your local office here.

PennDOT photo license center 
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 

May I photocopy blank registration forms?

Yes, voter registration groups may photocopy blank registration forms.

May I photocopy completed registration forms?

There is no law against copying completed registration forms in Pennsylvania, although it is wise to ask the voter permission before doing so.

May I help the voter complete the application?

Yes, you may assist the voter if he or she has difficulty completing the application. However, the assistor must also sign the application. 

Are there restrictions against pre-filling information on registration forms?

No. Pennsylvania Election Code does not forbid pre-filling information on registration forms.

What are the rules regarding missing or illegible information on registration forms?

The clerk will make a reasonable effort to decipher the missing or illegible information.  If the necessary information cannot be obtained, the clerk will reject the voter registration application, and send written notice to the applicant.  If time permits before the application deadline, the applicant may re-apply, making sure to include the information that was missing during the previous registration attempt.

We urge you to make sure applications are filled out completely and legibly!

Voter registration drives – general information


Is training or registration with the state required for registration drives?

No training or registration is required to participate in or conduct a voter registration drive in Pennsylvania. 

Must volunteers or staff of voter registration drives be county or state residents?

No, there are no residency requirements for voter registration drive volunteers or staff in Pennsylvania. 

What other rules should I be aware of with respect to voter registration drives?

Don’t fraudulently fill out applications! If a person signs an official registration application knowing a statement declared in the application is false, makes a false registration, or furnishes false information, the person commits perjury, which is punishable by a hefty fine, jail time, and/or the loss of the right to vote.

Also, a voter registration group may not pay its workers on a per-application or per-registration basis. The law is very clear on this.

Does Pennsylvania election law allow for early voting?

No, although some Pennsylvania voters may qualify for an absentee ballot if they are unable to visit the polling place on Election Day. Visit www.votespa.com for details.

I’m a college student. May I register to vote using my college address?

Students in Pennsylvania generally have two options of where to register: home or school. The student must pick one and may NOT vote twice.

Click here for the VotesPA website on student voting

Are there any identification requirements to register to vote?

The voter registration form requires the applicant’s Pennsylvania driver’s license number or, if the voter does not have a driver’s license, the last four digits of his or her Social Security Number.  If neither of these is available, the applicant must write “None” in the appropriate box on the registration form.

Are there any identification requirements to vote in Pennsylvania?


Pennsylvania's voter ID law (Act 18) was deemed unconstitutional by a Commonwealth Court judge on January 17, 2014 and will NOT be in effect for the May 20 Primary Election. Click here for more info.


However, first-time voters and voters in a new division are required to show ID. The following forms of photo and non-photo IDs are approved:


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

Approved forms of non-photo identification must include your name and address:

    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

Where can I find more information? 

The Pennsylvania Department of State has a website dedicated to addressing questions and concerns about voting: http://www.votespa.com

The Pennsylvania Bureau of Commissions, Elections, and Legislation’s website provides information regarding elections, pertinent forms, and laws: http://www.dos.state.pa.us/bcel

Your county board of elections - find out their contact information here.

Check out the Non-Profit Voter Engagement Network's Guide to Voter Registration for Non-Profits.
 

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