Campus Vote Project is a project of Fair Elections Center

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Pennsylvania | Voting Guide



Voter Registration Deadline: 15 days before Election Day



  • Statewide and Presidential Primary Registration Deadline: April 13

  • Statewide and Presidential Primary: April 28

  • Presidential Election Registration Deadline: October 19

  • Presidential Election: November 3


Students have a choice about where to register to vote.


Students attending college may register at their campus address or choose to remain registered or register at their permanent or home address.


You may only be registered and vote in one location.


Pennsylvania’s voter registration form asks for your Pennsylvania driver’s license or state ID number, or the last four digits of your Social Security number. Be sure to provide one of these numbers if you have it.


First time voters in Pennsylvania must show proof of ID. Approved forms of photo ID include:

  • Pennsylvania driver’s license or PennDOT ID card

  • ID issued by any Commonwealth agency or the U.S. Government

  • U.S. Passport

  • U.S. Armed Forces ID

  • Student ID

  • Employee ID


If you do not have a photo ID, you can use a non-photo ID that includes your name and address. Approved forms of non-photo ID include:

  • Confirmation issued by the County Voter Registration Office

  • Non-photo ID issued by the Commonwealth or U.S. Government

  • Firearm permit

  • Current utility bill

  • Current bank statement

  • Current paycheck

  • Government check


Make a plan. Look up your voting site and hours at:


By Mail

Beginning with the Presidential Primary on April 28, 2020, all Pennsylvania voters can vote by mail.

  • Check your County Election Office’s website for information about applying to vote by mail.

  • The deadline to request a mail-in ballot will be 5 p.m. on the Tuesday before Election Day.

  • Voted ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day. They can be returned by mail or in person at your County Election Office.

  • Absentee Voting: The state will continue to offer absentee voting alongside mail-in voting. You may only vote absentee if you have one of the following reasons:

    • You will be absent from your municipality of residence during the entire period the polls are open due to your occupation or business (Students who are attending school in another state can use this reason if they still consider themselves residents of Pennsylvania);

    • You are in the military;

    • You are a spouse or dependent of a person in the military and expect to be absent from your municipality of residence during the entire period the polls are open;

    • You are unable to go to your polling place because of illness or physical disability;

    • You cannot go to a polling place on Election Day because you observe a religious holiday; or

    • You are a county employee who expects your Election Day duties relating to the conduct of the election will prevent you from voting.

  • Starting April 2020, voters who miss the mail-in ballot request deadline may apply for an emergency absentee ballot until close of polls on Election Day if:

    • They could not apply to vote by mail by the deadline due to disability, illness, or professional responsibilities

    • They become ill or disabled after the deadline and cannot vote in person

    • They learn that they will be unable to vote in person due to professional responsibilities, of which they were unaware and could not reasonably be made aware prior to the mail-in ballot request deadline

  • Applications for absentee ballots must be received by your County Election Office no later than 5 p.m. on the Tuesday before Election Day.

  • Completed absentee ballots must be received by 5 p.m. on the Friday before Election Day. In presidential election years, absentee ballots received after the deadline but by the close of the polls on Election Day will be counted for the offices of president and vice president only.


Election Day

  • Voting sites will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. If you are in line by the closing time then you must be allowed to vote.


Registering to Vote Does Not Affect Your:

  • Federal Financial Aid

    • Where you register to vote will not affect federal financial aid such as Pell Grants, Perkins or Stafford loans, or your dependency status for FAFSA

  • Status as a Dependent on Your Parents’ Taxes

    • Being registered to vote at a different address from your parents does not prevent them from claiming you as a dependent on their taxes

  • Tuition Status

    • Being deemed out-of-state for tuition purposes does not prevent you from choosing to register to vote in your campus community


Will registering to vote in Pennsylvania affect my driver’s license or car registration?

  • All new PA residents who own out-of-state driver’s licenses must exchange them for Pennsylvania ones within 60 days of declaring Pennsylvania residency, regardless of voter registration status.

Fair Elections Center and Campus Vote Project intend the information contained herein to be used only as a general guide. This document should not be used as a substitute for consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania legal professional.


Last updated November 2019

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