Pennsylvania Voter Education Guide
2020 Election Dates
Last Day to Register to Vote for Primary: May 18*
Last Day to Apply for an Absentee or Mail-in Ballot: May 26* Primary Election: June 2*
Last Day to Register to Vote for General Election: October 19 General Election: November 3
Ways to Vote
At the polls on Election Day, or
By mail-in (no excuse) or
Absentee ballot, or
In-person at County Board of Elections
Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. | (If you’re in line by 8:00 p.m., you can vote!)
Need to register to vote or have questions? | Call 877-VOTESPA or go to www.votespa.com
Contact your County Voter Services https://www.votespa.com/Resources/Pages/Contact–Your–Election–Officials.aspx
Apply for a mail-in ballot to stay safe. https://bit.ly/ApplyMail-inBallot
*New dates are due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
How to Register to Vote
Online at www.votespa.com/ or By mail on a form available at libraries, PennDOT, State liquor stores or Call your state rep or In-person at county election offices.
°Check registration and polling location at www.votespa.com
°Deadline to register: 15 days before Election Day. Same to re-register for change of name, address or party affiliation.
°Eligibility to register: US citizen, PA resident for at least 30 days before Election Day, and 18 years old on or before Election Day. A PennDOT ID is required if you have one but if not, the last 4 digits of social security number or other accepted ID will be needed. If released from prison, in pretrial detention, or incarcerated for a misdemeanor you may register (https://www.votespa.com/Register–to– Vote/Pages/Convicted–Felon,-Misdemeanant–or–Pretrial–Detainee.aspx ).
°Closed primaries: You must register with an affiliated party to vote for that party’s candidates in the primary election.
°Voter ID: Only needed if first time voter or new to polling location.
PA has changes to its election law (Act 77).
°More Time to Register to Vote. The deadline to register to vote is now 15 days, rather than 30 days, prior to Election Day. May 18, 2020 is the last day to register to vote for the primary on June 2, 2020.
°Mail-in Voting. New option for no excuse voting-by-mail. Apply by May 26, 2020. Absentee voting still exists for military, PA residents abroad, excused for work or vacation, disabled or illness, religious reasons, college student or incarcerated inmates not convicted of a felony. Website, www.votespa.com online, guides applicant on choosing mail-in vs. absentee ballot. You can request an application from your state representative. *Mail-in and absentee ballots function the same way.
°Early In-person Voting. Vote in-person at the county board of election offices.
°Extended Deadline to Return Mail-in or Absentee Ballots. Submit mail-in or absentee ballots until 8 p.m. on Election Day, now June 2, 2020 (received by county board of election).
°Elimination of Straight Party Voting. It is no longer possible to vote for all of a party’s candidates with a single action. Only applicable in general election. *It helps to fill out the ballot from the bottom up.
°50-day Mail-in Voting Period. All voters can request and submit their mail-in or absentee ballot up to 50 days before the election
°Cannot vote in-person for primary if received a mail-in or absentee ballot. Polling locations will no longer be sent absentee ballots for counting. Instead, all mail-in and absentee ballots will be counted in one county location. *If for some reason a ballot was not received or sent in time, please request a provisional ballot at the polling location. This will change for the general election. Track the status of your request and ballot here: http://www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/Pages/BallotTracking.aspx
°New Voting Systems. All 67 counties will be using new voting systems that are auditable and provide a voter verified paper trail. For a demo of each county’s voting system go to www.votespa.com/ Voting–in–PA/Pages/Voting–System–Demos.aspx.
Nicole Keels-McGruder, NAACP Pennsylvania State Conference Political Action Chair