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League of Women Voters

Pennsylvania Absentee Ballot Process

If you are unable to vote at your polling place on Election Day, you may be able to vote by absentee ballot. You are able to vote absentee if you are:

  • A person who is in the military service of the United States
  • A spouse or dependent residing with or accompanying a person in the military service of the United States who expects to be absent on Election Day
  • A member of the Merchant Marine and your spouse and dependents residing with you expect to be absent on Election Day
  • A member of a religious or welfare group attached to and serving with the armed forces and your spouse and dependents living with or accompanying you expect to be absent on Election Day
  • An individual who, because of the elector's duties, occupation or business expects to be absent on Election Day
  • A qualified war veteran elector who is bedridden or hospitalized due to illness or physical disability and will be absent on Election Day
  • A person who, because of illness or physical disability, is unable to attend your polling place or to operate a voting machine with assistance by distinct and audible statements
  • A spouse or dependent accompanying a person employed by the Commonwealth or the federal government, in the event that the employee's duties, occupation or business on Election Day require you to be absent
  • A county employee who expects that your Election Day duties relating to the conduct of the election will prevent the employee from voting
  • A person who will not attend a polling place on Election Day because of the observance of a religious holiday

Beginning in November 2012, voters must provide a driver's license number, last 4 digits of Social Security number or a copy of an acceptable photo ID when applying for an absentee ballot. You may provide this information to the county over the phone, by email or by mail. Identification will be verified by the county before the voter's ballot with be counted. You have 6 days following the election to provide the necessary ID. UOCAVA voters and voters affected by the Voting Accessibility for Elderly and Handicapped Act are exempt.

To apply for an absentee ballot, download and print the absentee ballot application and send it to your county election office.

You may also apply for an absentee ballot through a letter. This letter must be signed by the voter and must include the same information as the forms provided by the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

The County Board of Elections must receive the applications no later than 5pm on the Tuesday before Election Day.

If you have an emergency and did not apply for an absentee ballot by the deadline you may download and apply for an Emergence Absentee Ballot. This application must be notarized before it is submitted. More information about Emergency Absentee Ballots can be found here.

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