Your vote matters. Make sure you are registered to vote before April 16, 2018.
[EDIT (May 1, 2018): If you missed the April deadline to register for the primaries, get a jump on registration for the General Election in November. Head here to register online right away!]
***If you have any issues on Election Day, please call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.
Issues may include (but are not limited to): being told the wrong date/time to vote; not being allowed to cast a provisional ballot; being intimidated or challenged at the polls.
Be sure to bring this number with you when you vote!***
On May 15, you can vote for a primary candidate to become Pennsylvania's Governor and Lieutenant Governor. You can also vote for candidates for the US Senate, US House of Representatives, State House of Representatives, and some state senators. There may be local races as well. You may be able to find a list of people running for office at Ballotpedia.
With the recent redistricting decision and multiple retirements, you may not be familiar with the candidates up for election. Please take a look at the new districts to see who you will be voting for this year.
Will I Need Voter ID?
IN MOST CASES, YOU WILL NOT NEED IDENTIFICATION TO VOTE IN THE PENNSYLVANIA ELECTIONS. Only first-time voters, voters using a new polling place, and voters using absentee ballots will need to provide ID.
If you are a first-time voter, submitting an absentee ballot, or voting at a new polling place, you should bring an approved form of identification. To see all approved forms, visit the PA Department of State voting website. Acceptable forms of identification for absentee voters are available here.
Do I Need to Register to Vote?
In Pennsylvania, voters must be registered 30 days prior to each election. If you are not sure if you are registered, you can confirm your registration status in the Pennsylvania voter registration database. If you are not registered, please register today. In Pennsylvania, you can now register to vote online, or you may register in person with your county or by mail.
In the primaries, Pennsylvanians can only vote for members of their own political party. Please keep that in mind as you register and prepare for voting.
Can I Register to Vote?
To vote in Pennsylvania, you must be:
- a US citizen for at least one month before the election
- a Pennsylvania resident and resident of the election district for at least 30 days before the election
- at least 18 years old on or before the election. (If you will turn 18 on or before the election, you can register now!)
To vote in the primaries, you must also be registered and enrolled in a political party to vote in that party's primary, although all registered voters can vote on Constitutional amendments, ballot questions, or special elections if they are occurring during the primary election.
For more information, please visit VotesPA.org.
How Do I Vote Absentee?
If you can't make it to your polling place in person on Election Day, you may be able to vote by absentee ballot. To do so, you must request an absentee ballot by 5 PM on the Tuesday before the election. In certain emergency cases (such as unexpected illness or disability), you can submit an emergency application for an absentee ballot no later than 5 PM on the Friday before Election Day. You will need approved identification to vote absentee.
To vote by absentee ballot, you must already be registered in Pennsylvania. Learn more about the process and download your application here.
Where is My Polling Place?
The Pennsylvania Department of State offers an online tool to help find your polling place. In Pennsylvania, the polls are open from 7 AM to 8 PM.
You can find a demo of the voting machines used at your polling station here.
What Should I Bring With Me When I Go To Vote?
If you are a first-time voter or if you are voting at a new polling place, you should bring an approved form of identification. To see all approved forms, visit the PA Department of State voting website.
All voters may bring a list of candidates on the ballot and/or a list of key issues or specific proposals that are on the ballot.
If you have any issues on Election Day, please call 1-866-OUR-VOTE. Be sure to bring this number with you to the polls!
What Are My Rights As a Voter?
Under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, it is illegal for any state or local government to discriminate against racial, ethnic or language minority groups by denying them the right to vote.
In Pennsylvania, you may ask for assistance to vote as long as that assistance is provided by someone other than your employer (or their agent), your union head (or their agent) or the Judge of Elections. You may choose the person who will assist you - polling workers do not have the right to choose that person for you. The first time you need assistance, you will need to fill out a form provided by the Election Official at your polling place.
What if I Have Problems Voting?
If your name is not in the books at the polling place, or if you have any problems voting, please work with the Election officials to make sure you are at the right place. If you are at the correct polling place but your name is not on the books, you can vote by provisional ballot. The Board of Elections will examine the provisional ballots within seven days and will count the votes if you were properly registered and voting at the correct polling place. If you are having problems and are at the correct polling place, do not leave without casting a provisional ballot.
If you have any problems at the polls, please call 1-866-OURVOTE.