WHAT IS THE REGISTRATION DEADLINE FOR PENNSYLVANIA?
The deadline to register for a primary or general election is 30 days prior to Election Day. 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 at least 18 years old on Election Day. Voters must register where they currently live or reside.
Misdemeanants and pretrial detainees are permitted to register regardless of their incarceration status. Felons are not permitted to vote if they are incarcerated on the date of the next election. Misdemeanants and pretrial detainees may vote by absentee ballot as long as they meet all other voting criteria.
For more information, consult this guide by the PA State Department.
HOW CAN I CHECK IF I’M ALREADY REGISTERED TO VOTE?
If you are unsure of your registration status, you can check by searching Pennsylvania’s voter registration database online, by contacting your County Board of Elections, or by calling 1-877-VOTESPA. The Philadelphia Voter Registration Office can be reached at 215-686-1591.
HOW DO I REGISTER TO VOTE IN PENNSYLVANIA?
You may apply online. On Aug. 27, 2015, Pennsylvania became the 23rd state to allow eligible citizens to register electronically.
Filling out and submitting the online form does not automatically constitute registration. Your registration must be confirmed by your county’s Board of Elections, which will contact you if more information is needed to approve your application. Once your registration is approved, your county Board will mail a voter registration card to your residence.
Only individuals with a PennDOT number from either a PA driver’s license or a PennDOT ID card can complete the registration process entirely online. Other applicants will have to submit their signature by mail to complete the registration process.
Here’s a "Frequently Asked Questions” document on online voter registration from the PA Department of State.
Another option is to download a PA Voter Registration form and mail it to your local County Bounty Board of Elections. Locate your local office here. You can also pick up these forms in person. Find information for your local County Board of Elections online.
Registration forms in Pennsylvania should also be available at:
- U.S. Post Offices,
- Public Libraries, and
- State Liquor Stores and other state agencies.
If you are conducting a voter registration drive in Pennsylvania and need a large quantity of applications, contact your County Board of Elections.
You can also register in person at the locations listed below. We recommend calling ahead to verify that the office has voter registration forms available.
- Your County Board of Elections
- 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 Intellectual Disabilities offices
- Student disability services offices of the State System of Higher Education
- Offices of Special Education
- DA Complementary Paratransit offices
MAY I PHOTOCOPY REGISTRATION FORMS?
Yes. Voter registration groups may photocopy blank registration forms. Additionally, 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. The Pennsylvania Election Code does not forbid pre-filling information on registration forms.
WHAT ARE THE RULES REGARDING MISSING OR ILLEGIBLE INFORMATION ON REGISTRATION FORMS?
Voter registeration clerks 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. Make sure the applications are filled out completely and legibly!
I RECENTLY CHANGED MY NAME, DO I NEED TO CHANGE MY VOTER REGISTRATION?
If you have had a recent name change, including changes due to marriage or divorce, you must submit a new voter registration form and indicate “Change of Name” as the application type.
HOW DO I CHANGE MY PARTY AFFILIATION?
You can change your voter registration at any point before the registration deadline by submitting a new voter registration form and selecting the “Change of Party” box.
I’M A COLLEGE STUDENT LIVING IN A NEW COUNTY/STATE, WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
If you are a student who has moved to a new county or state to attend school, you have two choices for registration and voting. You may register (or remain registered) to vote in your home county and vote by submitting an absentee ballot. Alternatively, you may register and vote in your new county by submitting a new voter registration.
For more information, visit votespa.com.
I RECENTLY MOVED, WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
If you have moved to a residence within the same county other than where you are registered to vote and less than 30 days before an election, you must vote at your former residence. If you have moved more than 30 days before an election, but have not notified Voter Registration officials, you will be permitted to vote at your old polling place. However, you may only vote at your old polling place once, and must update your voter registration with your new address.
If you have moved to a new county, you must inform Election Officials at your old polling place and indicate that you would like to change your registration. You will be permitted to vote at your old polling place upon affirming your new address. You may only vote once at your old polling place once, and you must update your voter registration with your new address.
I’M CURRENTLY OVERSEAS, HOW CAN I REGISTER/VOTE?
Members of the military who want to register to vote in Pennsylvania may do so by submitting a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). To receive the FCPA via email, submit a request to ST-UOCAVAApp@pa.gov. If you want to vote but will not be at your polling place on Election Day, you may request and submit an absentee ballot. For more information on absentee ballots for members of the military, visit votespa.com.
If you are a civilian overseas and want to register to vote in Pennsylvania, you may request an official voter registration form via email by submitting a request ST-UOCAVAApp@pa.gov. If you want to vote but will not be at your polling place on Election Day, you may request and submit an absentee ballot. For more information on absentee ballots for civilians overseas, visit votespa.com.
I’M RUNNING A VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVE, WHERE CAN I GET REGISTRATION FORMS?
If you are attempting to acquire a large number of voter registration forms for a registration drive, contact the PA Department of State at 1-800-552-VOTE. For smaller quantities you may also wish to contact your County Board of Elections. We urge you to submit these forms regularly in order to avoid contributing to a glut of forms submitted at the registration deadline. This can create difficulties in the application process.
WHAT ELSE SHOULD I KNOW IF BEFORE RUNNING A VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVE?
There are certain restrictions regarding compensation and incentives -- both for drive workers and registration applicants -- that are set by state and federal election law. Before planning your voter registration event or project, review these guides by the Advancement Project and the Brennan Center.
WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION?
The Pennsylvania Department of State has a website dedicated to addressing questions and concerns about voting: www.VotesPA.com. The Philadelphia City Commissioners’ website has information regarding registration and voting: www.PhiladelphiaVotes.com.
Also check out this registration guide from the Nonprofit Voter Engagement Network.