Pennsylvania’s NEW VOTING LAW
Updated: Feb 28
Changes to Voter Registration & Absentee Voting! New Mail-In Voting Option!
Pennsylvania’s NEW VOTING LAW:
Changes to VOTER REGISTRATION & ABSENTEE VOTING!
NEW MAIL-IN VOTING OPTION!
CAUTION: Once you have submitted your application you are committed to voting by mail.
Eligibility:Any citizen who is 18 years old on or before the day of the next election, is eligible to vote. A PennDoT ID (or other accepted ID, including last 4 digits of social security number) is needed to register.
Deadline:Voter registration forms must be received by the county Voter Services office by 15 days before election day. Here are the deadlines for 2020: Primary Election April 28 – registration must be received by April 13 General Election November 3 – registration must be received by October 19
How: Voter registration can be completed and submitted online: https://www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/Pages/VoterRegistrationApplication.aspx Keep this link open on your mobile phone and you can be a voter registration hub wherever you go!
To check Pennsylvania voter registration status, go here: https://www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/Pages/voterregistrationstatus.aspx
A voter should complete a new voter registration form if they MOVE, CHANGE THEIR NAME, or wish to CHANGE PARTY AFFILIATION. Remember, those who are registered with no party (sometimes called “independent”) may not participate in the Primary election.
Absentee and Mail-in Voting
Pennsylvania now has two options for early voting by mail: Absentee ballot– for voters with a reason for not being able to vote in person at their poll on Election Day (for example: physical limitation; temporarily away from home, such as college student, business trip, or vacation). Mail-in ballot– a new option for any registered voter who wants to vote early. It is not necessary to provide a reason.
Both options follow a multi-step process: (1) submit application, (2) the ballot is mailed to you, then (3) return your voted ballot either by mail or hand-deliver. Note: This entire process can also be completed in person at the county Voter Services office in Norristown.
Timeframe: The early voting period begins 50 days (7 weeks) before each election. For this year’s Primary election, early voting starts March 9.
IMPORTANT: Voters who request a mail-in ballot or traditional absentee ballot will NOT be able to vote in person at their poll. Once the voter receives a ballot, there is no back up, except for a provisional ballot (which is only counted after individual scrutiny for eligibility). We do not recommend mail-in voting unless the voter is certain to meet the deadlines. If your ballot does not arrive on time, you can still go to your polling place and vote by a provisional ballot.
Deadlines (to be received in the Montgomery County Voter Services office in Norristown, not the postmark date): Application: 5pm on April 21. Voted ballot: 8pm on Election Day, April 28.
For those who are permanently ill or disabled, a new Annual Mail-in Ballot program is a new option, in which that voter is automatically mailed an absentee ballot for each election that year. Click here for more information.
Voters temporarily living overseas – including members of the military and students studying abroad – CAN STILL VOTE but must plan ahead and leave plenty of time for the mail. Some deadlines are extended. Find details here.
Pennsylvania Department of State:
For more information about voting by mail-in or absentee ballot: https://www.votespa.com/mailballot or call 1-877-868-3772.
Montgomery County Voter Services:
Key 2020 Election Dates – mark your calendar!
March 9: Vote by mail period for primary election opens.
April 13: Deadline to register to vote for primary election.
April 28: Primary election; polls open 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.
September 14: Vote by mail period for general election opens.
October 19: Deadline to register to vote for general election.
November 3: General election; polls open 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.