How to vote in Pennsylvania

Everything voters need to know. Democracy Works has all the information you need to register and vote.

Election Day

Election Day is almost here! If you have any difficulties voting, you should first ask a poll worker or your local election official for help. We have provided additional resources below to help you vote, no matter what.
  • Get to the polls can help you find your polling place if you aren’t sure where to vote in person.
  • The Election Protection Hotline is a great resource if you experience any issues while voting. Remember: It is a federal crime to pressure, threaten, or otherwise intimidate voters at the polls!
    • English: 1-866-OUR-VOTE / 1-866-687-8683
    • Spanish: 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA / 1-888-839-8682
  • The ACLU’s Voting Rights Guide explains accommodations your polling place needs to make if English is not your primary language.
  • The Nonprofit VOTE’s State Resource Guide provides information on how your state supports disabled voters.

For more resources, please check out our Know Your Voting Rights post!

Who can vote

You have to register to vote before Election Day in Pennsylvania. You can find the deadline to register to vote in the “Dates and deadlines” section.

To register in Pennsylvania you must:

  • be a citizen of the United States at least one month before the next election
  • be a resident of Pennsylvania and your election district at least 30 days before the election
  • be at least 18 years of age on the day of the next election
  • You may also register if you:
  • are a pretrial detainee, confined in a penal institution awaiting trial on charges of a felony or a misdemeanor
  • got released or will get released by the date of the next election from a correctional facility or halfway house (this must be upon completion of the term of incarceration for conviction of a misdemeanor or a felony)
  • are on probation or released on parole
  • are under house arrest (home confinement)
  • *find more information on voting rights restoration here

Vote in person

Due to COVID-19, in-person services may have limited availability. Contact your local election office to confirm. See CDC guidance on safe in-person voting.

Vote on Election Day

Voters registered in Pennsylvania can look up where to vote on Pennsylvania’s site.

Vote early

Pennsylvania voters can also vote before Election Day through a process called absentee in-person voting. The period for absentee in-person voting runs from Monday, September 14, 2020 to Tuesday, October 27, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live.

What to bring

  • If you’ve voted at your polling place before, you don’t need to show ID to vote.
  • If you’re a first-time voter, or if you moved within Pennsylvania and are voting for the first time at a new polling place, you must show ID to vote. Acceptable forms include: Pennsylvania driver’s license or PennDOT ID card; ID issued by Pennsylvania or the US government; US passport; US military ID; student ID; employee ID; a confirmation issued by the County Voter Registration Office; non-photo ID issued by Pennsylvania or the US government; firearm permit; or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or a government check that includes your name and address.
  • Voters without ID: If you are unable to provide ID, you will be able to vote a provisional ballot.

Vote by mail

  1. Request your mail-in ballot with a mail ballot application. You can also request a ballot online. We encourage you to request and return ballots as early as possible.
  2. Fill out the application completely.
  3. Submit the request to your local election office. You should request your ballot as far in advance of the election as possible. The deadline to request a ballot by mail is (received by) Tuesday, October 27, 2020.
  4. When your ballot arrives, read it carefully and follow the instructions to complete it and return it.
  5. Your ballot must be postmarked by Tuesday, November 3, 2020 and received no later than Friday, November 6, 2020 by 5:00 p.m. You may also return your ballot in person by Tuesday, November 3, 2020 by 8:00 p.m. You can find ballot tracking information here.

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