To be eligible to vote in Pennsylvania you must be:
Please note to vote in a primary you must be registered and enrolled in a political party.
If you have a Pennsylvania driver's license, you must provide your driver's license number on your registration form. If you do not have a Pennsylania license you must supply the last 4 digits of your social security number. If you do not have a Social Security Number, write none in the space provided for this number.
Unless your are a first time voter, you do not need to show any ID to vote a regular ballot on Election Day.
First time voters are required to show some form of ID, but it does not need to be a photo ID. Acceptable forms of ID are:
All voters may be asked to show ID at the polls, however, you cannot be stopped from voting a regular ballot if you do not provide a valid ID.
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:
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.
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.
You are a Military or Overseas voter if you are in uniformed services, living overseas OR a spouse or dependant of a uniformed services voter. To get registered and vote, you can utilize Overseas Vote Foundation.
If you have additional questions about elections and voting overseas you can use our state specific elections official directory or contact the Overseas Vote Foundation.
Pennsylvania does not have early voting. If you meet any of the below requirements you may vote before Election Day through an Absentee Ballot. Please see the "Absentee Ballot Process" question above for more information on voting Absentee Ballots.
Absentee Ballot requirements:
In order to be a poll worker in Pennsylvania:
You will be entitled to compensation
To sign up, contact your local board of elections.
The polling place will be open from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm.
Time off to vote is subject to the employer. Pennsylvania state law does not require employers to grant time off to vote for employees.
You are provided the opportunity to cast a provisional ballot if:
You are required to vote by provisional ballot if:
If you vote on a provisional ballot, you will be asked to:
If you already voted by absentee ballot for this election, you will be asked to cancel your absentee ballot. Within seven days after the election, the county board of elections will examine the provisional ballot to determine the validity of your completed provisional ballot. At least seven days after the election, using the information provided to you on the provisional ballot identification receipt, call 1-877-VOTES-PA or visit the department of state. Provide your provisional ballot identification number. You will be told whether your provisional ballot was counted, partially counted or not counted. If your provisional ballot was not counted, you will be told why.
The voting systems used in Pennsylvania are optical scan, DRE, and paper ballots.
Optical Scan: With this system, you will receive a card or sheet of paper, which you take over to a private table or booth. The card has the names of the various candidates and ballot measures printed on it. With a pen or pencil you fill in a little box or circle or the space between two arrows. When you are finished filling out all the cards, you may bring the cards over to a ballot box, where poll workers will show you how to put the cards in the box. Or in some places, you may feed the completed cards or papers into a computer device that checks your card or paper right there at the polling place to make sure you have voted the way you want to and counts the votes.
Direct Recording Electronic (DRE): This is the newest kind of system in use in the U.S. All the information about who and what you are voting for is on an electronic screen like a TV or computer screen.
There are many variations of DREs because lots of companies are inventing new ones, and many cities, counties and states are trying them out. Usually, after you have signed in, the poll workers will give you a card that you slide into a device to start your voting session.
Some of these devices will show all of the candidates and ballot choices on one big screen. Often, with these big screen devices you push a button next to the name of the candidate you want to vote for (or yes or no on a ballot measure). On other DREs, the screen is set up to show pages. On each screen or page, there will probably be one thing to vote on. For example, on one screen or page, you might vote for president. Then you might move to the next page to vote for senator. Often these small-screen devices have a touch screen where you touch the screen next to the name of the person you want to vote for. Other devices have a key pad. And some have a keyboard, so you can write in the name of someone you want to vote for.
You let the system know you are finished voting by pushing a button, touching the screen or entering something on a keypad.
Paper Ballots: Paper ballots are one of the oldest ways of voting in America. They are still used in a few places on Election Day. When you come to the polling place, you will get a paper ballot from the poll worker. You take it to the voting booth, and use a pen or pencil to mark a box next to your candidate and issue choices. You then drop the marked ballot into a sealed ballot box.
You can learn more about voting systems by checking out the Elections Assistance Commission's (EAC) resource.
Any voter who requires assistance to vote by reason of blindness, disability, or inability to read or write may be given assistance by a person of the voter's choice, other than the voter's employer or agent of that employer or officer or agent of the voter's union. The Judge of Elections cannot assist a voter with disabilities.
For those voters who have a disability or are elderly and assigned to an inaccessible polling place, the Secretary of the Commonwealth has directed the county boards of elections to make available to those voters, upon their request, an Alternative Ballot. An Alternative Ballot may be cast with the county board of elections by 8 p.m. (or the close of polls) on Election Day. However, an application for an Emergency Alternative Ballot may be submitted until 8:00 P.M. on Election Day. The prescribed form by which an eligible voter might apply for an Alternative Ballot is available by:
Applications for alternative ballots must be submitted to your County Board of Elections no later than 5pm on the Tuesday before Election Day.
For more information, you can utilize the American Association of People With Disabilities (AAPD) resource.
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