Voting in Pennsylvania

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State poll times (2015)
Voting in the 2015 primary elections
Voting in the 2015 general elections
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Pennsylvania does not permit online voter registration, early voting, or no-excuse absentee voting. Since Pennsylvania's voter ID law was struck down in 2014, there are currently no identification requirements for voters in the state.

For full information about voting in Pennsylvania, contact your state election agency.

Registration

To vote in Pennsylvania, you must meet be:[1]

  • A citizen of the United States for at least one month before the next primary, special, municipal, or general election.
  • A resident of Pennsylvania and the election district in which you want to register and vote for at least 30 days before the next primary, special, municipal, or general election.
  • At least 18 years of age on or before the day of the next primary, special, municipal, or general election.[2]

When and where

The deadline for registering to vote is 30 days before an election. Registration can be done in person or by mail. There are two ways to register by mail:[1]

  • Get a Voter Registration Mail Application form from the state or federal government. The Secretary of the Commonwealth and all county registration commissions supply Voter Registration Mail Applications to all persons and organizations who request them, including candidates, political parties and political bodies and other federal, state and municipal offices.
  • Download the Voter Registration Application. Print, complete, sign and deliver to your County Voter Registration Office by mail or in person.[2]

—Pennsylvania Department of State

Voters can register in person at their County Voter Registration Office, the Department of Transportation, or any of the following locations:[1]

  • 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[2]

—Pennsylvania Department of State

Online registration

See also: Online voter registration in the 50 states

As of January 2015, Pennsylvania is one of the 30 states that have not implemented full online voter registration. Pennsylvania had a bill pending in the 2013 legislative session which would have authorized online voter registration. On April 17, 2013, the Pennsylvania State Senate passed the bill. However, as of January 2015 that bill had not been passed by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.[3][4]

Voting on Election Day

A state judge struck down the state's voter ID law in January 2014. On May 8, 2014, Governor Tom Corbett said he would not appeal the ruling.[5]

Poll times

See also: State Poll Opening and Closing Times

In Pennsylvania, all polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time.[6]

Primary voting

Pennsylvania is one of 12 states to use a strictly closed primary process. Voters are required to register with a political party to vote in the primary election.[7][8][9]

Absentee voting

See also: Absentee voting

Eligibility

A voter is eligible to vote absentee in an election if he or she cannot make it to the polls on Election Day for one of the following reasons:[10]

  • A person who is or may be in the military service of the United States, regardless of whether at the time of voting the person is present in the election district of residence or in the Commonwealth and regardless of whether he or she is registered to vote.
  • A spouse or dependent residing with or accompanying a person in the military service of the United States and who expects on Election Day to be absent from his or her municipality of residence during the entire period in which the polling places are open for voting (7 a.m. to 8 p.m.).
  • A member of the Merchant Marine and his/her spouse and dependents residing with or accompanying the Merchant Marine, who expect on Election Day to be absent from the Commonwealth or the municipality of residence during the entire period in which the polling places are open for voting (7 a.m. to 8 p.m.).
  • A member of a religious or welfare group attached to and serving with the armed forces and his/her spouse and dependents residing with or accompanying him or her, who expect on Election Day to be absent from the Commonwealth or the municipality of residence during the entire period in which the polling places are open for voting (7 a.m. to 8 p.m.).
  • An individual who, because of the elector's duties, occupation or business (including attendance of college in another county/state, leaves of absence for teaching, vacations and sabbatical leaves), expects on Election Day to be absent from his/her municipality of residence during the entire period the polls are open for voting and the spouse and dependents of such electors who are residing with or accompanying the elector and for that reason also expect to be absent from his/her municipality during the entire period the polls are open for voting (7 a.m. to 8 p.m.).
  • A qualified war veteran elector who is bedridden or hospitalized due to illness or physical disability if the elector is absent from the municipality of his residence and unable to attend his/her polling place because of such illness or disability, regardless of whether the elector is registered to vote.
  • A person who, because of illness or physical disability, is unable to attend his/her polling place or to operate a voting machine and obtain assistance by distinct and audible statements. (Note: A disabled elector may be placed on a permanently disabled absentee file.)
  • 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 him/her to be absent from the Commonwealth or the municipality of residence during the entire period the polls are open for voting (7 a.m. to 8 p.m.).
  • A county employee who expects that his 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.[2]

—Pennsylvania Department of State

Deadlines

A request to vote by absentee ballot must be received no later than 5 p.m. on the Tuesday before the election. Completed non-emergency absentee ballots must be received by 5 p.m. on the Friday before Election Day. In presidential election years, absentee ballots received after the state deadline but by the time polls close on Election Day will be counted for the offices of president and vice president.[10]

Military and overseas voting

For full details regarding military and overseas voting, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program.

2012 developments

Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Corbett (R) issued an executive order extending the deadline for receipt of completed absentee ballots by the county Board of Elections to 5 p.m. on November 5, 2012. The extension applied to those counties where the Board of Elections was closed due to Hurricane Sandy.[11]

Early voting

See also: Early voting

Pennsylvania is one of 14 states that do not have any form of early voting.[12]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Pennsylvania + Voting"

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Pennsylvania Voting News Feed

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See also

Elections in Pennsylvania

External links

References