Pennsylvania | Voting Guide

Registration Deadlines and Election Dates

The voter registration deadline is October 19. Applications must be received by the county election official by that date.

All voters may vote by mail. Additional information and mail-in ballot request forms are available at:

Mail-in ballot requests must be received by your county election officials no later than 5:00 p.m. on October 27.

Voter Registration Deadline: Applications must be received by 15 days before Election Day.


  • Presidential Election Registration Deadline: October 19

  • Presidential Election: November 3

Official Election Websites
Register at School or Home

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.

What Type of ID Do I Need to Register?

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.

What Type of ID Do I Need to Vote?

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

Where Do I Vote?

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

How Can I Vote?

By Mail/Absentee Ballot

All Pennsylvania voters can vote by mail.

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

Requests for a mail-in ballot must be received by 5 p.m. on the Tuesday before Election Day.

  • In 2020, mail-in ballots must be returned either in person to the county election office or other official designated location by 8pm on Election Day, Tuesday November 3; OR

  • by mail postmarked by 8pm on Election Day, Tuesday November 3, AND received by the county election office by 5pm on Friday November 6.

Absentee Voting

The state will continue to offer absentee voting alongside mail-in voting. 

Absentee voting requires an excuse while mail-in voting does not. 

However, voters cannot be challenged for applying for a mail ballot instead of an absentee ballot, and vice versa.

Request and return deadlines are the same as for mail-in ballots.

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 physical disability, illness, or the person’s business, duties, or occupation

  • 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 the person’s business, duties, or occupation, of which they were unaware and could not reasonably be known to them prior to the mail-in ballot request deadline

There are different deadlines for overseas/military voters. Contact your election official if that applies to you.

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.

Common Questions/Concerns

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 September 2020