Pennsylvania Voter ID Laws

Local Assistance

Let us know of any local organizations helping those who need assistance register and get to the polls.
Project Vote Smart
League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania



Key Dates

General Election: November 6, 2012
Action Date
Last day to REGISTER before the NOVEMBER election October 9, 2012*
Last day to apply for civilian absentee ballot October 30, 2012*
Deadline for County Boards of Elections to receive voted civilian absentee ballots November 2, 2012*
Last day voted military and overseas absentee ballots must be postmarked November 5, 2012*
Last day for County Board of Elections to receive voted military and overseas absentee ballots November 13, 2012*

*The Pennsylvania Department of State site notes that all dates on the calendar are subject to change without notice.

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Full Transcript

Intro and Agenda

Hello I’m Daphne O’Neal and you are watching the update for the state of Pennsylvania. This video will give you an overview of what you need to know to exercise your right to vote. We’ll cover the latest and pending changes, what forms of ID are acceptable, who is eligible to vote, registration procedures and deadlines, when you can vote and where you can get additional assistance.

Latest and Pending Changes

Pennsylvania’s strict voter-id law will not be in effect for the November 6 2012 election.

Poll workers will ask you to present photo ID but you WILL be permitted to cast a regular ballot even if you do not have it.

Required Identification to Vote

For the November 6, 2012 general and Presidential election, ID requirements differ if you are a first-time voter at your current polling place, or if you have previously voted at your polling place.

Voters who have previously voted at their polling place are not required to show photo ID but they will be asked for it anyway. These established voters are not required to show any form of ID to vote.

If you do not have a photo ID, you may use any of the following forms of NON-photo ID.

If you have recently moved and have not previously voted at your polling place, you are considered a first-time voter.

All first time voters must provide some proof of ID but it does not need to be a photo ID. The following are acceptable forms of identification for first time voters:

* Pennsylvania driver’s license or PennDOT ID card
* ID issued by any Commonwealth agency
* ID issued by the U.S. Government
* U.S. passport
* U.S. Armed Forces ID
* Student ID
* Employee ID
* Non-photo ID issued by the Commonwealth
* Non-photo ID issued by the U.S. Government
* Firearm permit
* Current utility bill
* Current bank statement
* Current paycheck
* Government check

Voter Registration

In Pennsylvania, you are eligible to vote if you are at least 18 years old for 30 days prior to the election, AND you are a U.S. citizen and a Pennsylvania resident in the county in which you are registered.
You may register to vote either in person or by mail. A link to the voter registration form is available in the Green section at the bottom of this webpage.

Once completed, mail or deliver the form to your county election office. The form must be received or postmarked 30 days before the election. Addresses for your county are listed on the registration form.

If you think you are already registered to vote, it’s a good idea to confirm your registration with the Pennsylvania Voter Registration Database. We have a link in the Green section below.

When to Vote

Election Day is Tuesday, November 6, 2012. Polls in Pennsylvania will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Any voter who is standing in line at 8 p.m. is still eligible to cast a vote.

Absentee Voting

If you cannot make it to the polls you may be able to use an absentee ballot. Absentee ballots are for certain groups of people, including those who are disabled, or cannot make it to the polls because of their occupation or business, vacations as well as other reasons.

You must be registered to vote before you request an absentee ballot. A link to the absentee ballot request form is available in the Green section below.

Return your completed application to your County Election Office by 5:00 p.m. on the Tuesday before the election. Postmarks don’t count. A link to find your County Election Office is provided in the Green section below.

Your election official will mail you a ballot and a return envelope. Complete the ballot, seal it, sign where indicated and return it to your County Election Office. Your absentee ballot must be received by 5 p.m. on the Friday before Election Day. Postmarks do not count, and if you are hand delivering, only the actual voter may return the ballot.

If it turns out that you are able to vote on Election Day, you must go to your polling place, void your absentee ballot and vote there.

Additional Assistance

There are several organizations to help you with any part of the voting process, from registration, getting the proper identification or transportation to the polling place.

Use the links in the sidebar for National organizations and for uniformed service members, their families and citizens living outside the U.S.

“Local Assistance” from independent organizations is available in the Blue section below. Official Government information and forms can be found in the Green section below, and Key Dates for your state can be found in the Red section.


We hope we have answered the most common questions for MOST voters in MOST situations or pointed you in the right direction to get more information. Election laws are much more complicated than we can fully cover here. Please visit one of the official sites listed below in the Green section for more detailed information.

Be sure to get last minute updates by subscribing to our e-mail list.

Our democracy works best when everyone participates in the process so make sure you vote and encourage others to vote as well. If you found this site helpful please share it with others using any of the sharing methods provided below. Thank you.

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