Pennsylvania Voting Information
- Absentee Ballot Process
- Campaign Finance Information
- Candidate and Ballot Measure Information
- Drop Boxes
- Early Voting
- Election Dates
- Eligibility Requirements
- ID Needed for Voter Registration
- ID Needed for Voting?
- Official Results
- Overseas and Military Voters
- Poll Worker Information
- Polling Place Hours
- Polling Place Locator
- Provisional Voting
- Provisions for Voters with Disabilities
- Registration Deadline
- Time Off To Vote
- Verify Voter Registration
- Vote by Mail
- Voting Machines
Absentee Ballot Process
All registered voters are eligible to request to vote by mail. You can request your mail ballot online, through a paper form (found in English and Espanol), in person at your County Election office or through a signed letter to your County Election Office. The last day to request an absentee ballot is 7 days before the election. Voted ballots must be received by Election Day in order to be counted. You can sign up to track your mail ballot on your Department of State website. Absentee ballots start being counted on Election Day.
Emergency absentee ballots are available! If you have a last minute unexpected illness, disability or absence after the deadline to request an absentee ballot you can request an emergency absentee ballot.
Those who requested an absentee ballot but end up voting in person: If you already submitted a mail-in or absentee ballot, you cannot vote at your polling place on election day.
If you did not return your mail-in or absentee ballot and you want to vote in person, you have two options:
- Bring your ballot and the pre-addressed outer return envelope to your polling place to be voided. After you surrender your ballot and envelope and sign a declaration, you can then vote a regular ballot.
- If you don't surrender your ballot and return envelope, you can only vote by provisional ballot at your polling place. Your county board of elections will then verify that you did not vote by mail before counting your provisional ballot.
For specifics, you can find your local county clerk contact info here.
You may now request your absentee ballot online! You can vote absentee if you are:
- A college student
- Out of town on Election Day
- Have a disability or illness that prevents you from getting to your polling place
- A member of the military
- Have a conflict due to a religious holiday
The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is one week before the Election Day.
When you apply for an absentee ballot you must provide a driver's license number or a Social Security Number. If you don't know have a driver's license or a Social Security Number you must present a copy of an acceptable photo ID.
If you are a UOCAVA voter, a voter with a disability or voters over 65 and affected by the Voting Accessibility for Elderly and Handicapped Act you do not need to provide any ID to apply for your absentee ballot.
Deadlines for returning your voted absentee ballot:
The deadline to return your ballot is 8pm on 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 Emergency Absentee Ballot. This application must be notarized before it is submitted. More information about Emergency Absentee Ballots can be found here.Request your Ballot
Campaign Finance Information
Candidate and Ballot Measure Information
Your county MAY have a ballot drop box, not all counties do. Take your completed ballot to the ballot box and insert it into the ballot box. Your ballot is cast once it drops into the ballot box. After the polls close, poll workers will deliver the ballots to the county election office, where they will be scanned and counted.
Early voting is in the form of Absentee in Person. Counties may make mail ballots available to voters in person up to 50 days before Election Day. Varies by county.
If you meet any of the below requirements you may vote before Election Day through an Absentee Ballot or mail in ballot process.
To be eligible to vote you must be:
- A citizen of the United States for at least one month before the next election
- A resident of Pennsylvania and the district in which you register and vote for at least 30 days before the next election
- At least 18 years of age on or before the day of the next election.
Please note to vote in a primary you must be registered and enrolled in a political party.
ID Needed for Voter Registration
If you have a state driver's license, you must provide your driver's license number on your registration form. If you do not have a state 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.
ID Needed for Voting?
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:
- Pennsylvania driver's license or PENNDOT ID card
- ID issued by any Commonwealth agency
- ID issued by the US Government
- US Passport
- US armed Forces ID
- Student ID
- Employee ID
- Confirmation issued by the County Voter Registration Office
- Non-photo ID issued by the Commonwealth that shows name and address
- Non-photo ID issued by the US Government that shows name and address
- Firearm permit
- Current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or government check that shows name and address
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.
Official results are never available on Election Day. Election officials are working around the clock to count an unprecedented number of ballots, and it’s essential that they take the time to make sure every vote is counted.
Absentee ballots begin being counted on Election Day. Provisional ballots are counted 7 days after the election.
Officials cannot begin to process mail ballots until Election Day. Official election results will be uploaded on Pennsylvania’s Department of State website as they become available.
The last date to certify the November 3, 2020 election is November 11th.Official Results
Overseas and Military Voters
You are a Military or Overseas voter if you are in uniformed services, living overseas OR a spouse or dependent 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.
Poll Worker Information
In order to be a poll worker in Pennsylvania, you must be:
- Registered to vote in Pennsylvania
- 18 years old
- A resident of election district for the 30 days before the election.
- A Student enrolled in a high school, 17 years old, may be appointed with written permission from a parent, guardian or school principal
To sign up, contact your local board of elections.
Polling Place Hours
The polling places are open from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm.
Polling Place Locator
You may vote a provisional ballot if you meet specific conditions.
You may vote a provisional ballot if:
- You try to vote in an election district and your name does not appear on the poll book and the elections officials cannot determine your registration.
- If you do not have an approved form of ID when you appear to vote
- The election official says you are not eligible to vote.
You are required to vote by provisional ballot if:
- You're voting as a result of a Federal or State court order.
- You are voting as a result of an order extending the time established for closing the polls by state law that is in effect 10 days before an election.
Provisional ballots are counted 7 days after Election Day. You can check the status of your provisional ballot 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.
Provisions for Voters with Disabilities
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, you may 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. You can request 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.
Time Off To Vote
Time off to vote is subject to the employer, there is no requirement for employers to grant time off to vote for employees.
Verify Voter Registration
To verify your voter registration statusclick here!
Vote by Mail
All registered voters are eligible to request to vote by mail beginning in April 2020! You can request your mail ballot online, through a paper form (found in English and Espanol), in person at your County Election office or through a signed letter to your County Election Office.
You must provide your PA driver's license or photo ID to register online.
All mail-in ballot applications must be received by 5pm the Tuesday before the election in order to be considered for the next election. If your request is approved you will receive a mail ballot with instructions from your County Election Office.
After applying, you can track the status of your ballot here.
You can request to be added to the annual mail-ballot request list where you receive an application to renew your mail ballot request each year. Once your application is approved, you will automatically receive ballots for the remainder of the year and you do not need to send an application for each election. Contact your County Election Office for more information.
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 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 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): 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.
Personalized voting information
- See What's On Your Ballot
- Check Your Voter Registration
- Find Your Polling Place
- Discover Upcoming Debates and Forum in Your Area