April 24, 2012
Primary Election Voter Registration Deadline
March 26, 2012
November 6, 2012
General Election Voter Registration Deadline
October 8, 2012
Voter Registration and Eligibility
Must register to vote at least 30 days before the election.
To register to vote in the state of Pennsylvania, an individual must meet the following qualifications:
- Be a citizen of the United States for at least one month before the next election
- Be a resident of Pennsylvania and resident of the election district in which you want to vote at, for at least 30 days before the next election
- Be at least 18 years of age on the day of the next election
- Not incarcerated for a felony conviction. However, pre-trial detainees and misdemeanants are eligible to register to vote and/or to vote by absentee ballot if they otherwise qualify to vote under law.
OBTAINING A VOTER REGISTRATION FORM
Register to Vote in Person at a County Voter Registration Office or obtain a mail-in form at:
- County Voter Registration Offices (contact information)
- State offices that provide public assistance and services to persons with disabilities
- Department of Transportation photo license centers
- 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
- ADA Complementary Para transit offices
PENNSYLVANIA ABSENTEE BALLOTS
Who Can Absentee Vote in Pennsylvania?
- An individual 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 the elector 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/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 their 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 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.
Any registered elector who has a disability, or who is 65 years of age or older irrespective of disability, and who has been assigned to vote at a polling place that has been officially designated as "inaccessible" by the County Board of Elections, has the right to vote by alternative ballot. See the following section for information on acquiring an alternative ballot, or download the alternative ballot here.
How Can I Acquire an Absentee Ballot?
Applications for absentee ballots are available here. After the form is completed, send it to your County Board of Elections.
A qualified absentee elector may apply for an absentee ballot either through an application form or through letter. An application by letter or other document must be signed by the elector and must include the same information as required on forms provided by the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
Completed absentee ballot applications must be received by the county board of elections no later than 5 p.m. the Tuesday before Election Day.
A qualified voter must apply to the county board of elections at least seven days before Election Day for an alternative ballot. If approved, a voter may complete his/her Alternative Ballot at any time before the close of polls on Election Day.
An application for an Emergency Absentee Ballot may be submitted to the court of Common Pleas until 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Emergency Absentee Ballots:
Applications are available at the County Board of Elections Office. If you have an emergency and did not apply for an absentee ballot by 5 p.m. on the Tuesday prior to Election Day, you may download and apply for an Emergency Absentee Ballot. This application must be notarized before it is submitted. These may be submitted to the County Board of Elections between 5 p.m. on the Tuesday before Election Day and 5 p.m. on the Friday before Election Day.
If you become physically disabled or ill between 5 p.m. on the Friday before Election Day and 8 p.m. on Election Day, or if you find out after 5 p.m. on the Friday before Election Day that you will be absent from your residence on Election Day due to business, duties or occupation, you can file with the Court of Common Pleas in the county where you are registered to vote for an emergency absentee ballot.
If you cannot appear in Court, you can designate a representative to deliver the absentee ballot to you and return the ballot to the County Board of Elections.
For a voter who experiences an emergency after 5 p.m. on the Friday before Election Day, the Emergency Absentee Ballot Application must be submitted to the Court of Common Pleas no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Absentee electors in military service are not required to be registered to vote.
Absentee electors in military service may obtain an absentee ballot by filing an Official Military
Application Form (Federal Form Number 76), which is distributed by the United States Department of Defense, or by filing any other official absentee ballot application form to request an absentee ballot.
Additional Information for Overseas Voters
How do I Return the Absentee Ballot and What is the Deadline?
The County Board of Elections must receive the completed ballot (either through the U.S. mail or by hand-delivery to the offices of the County Board of Elections) no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Source of information:
Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation
210 North Office Building
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17120
Phone: 717-787-5280; Toll Free: 877-VOTES-PA (868-3772)
PROTECT YOUR SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS
BY EXERCISING YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE!