FAQs: Ballot & Voting Eligibility

 

What time are the polls open?

7 a.m. to 8 p.m. If you are in line by 8pm you will be allowed to vote.

May I vote in this election?

First time voters will be required to show identification on the day of the Election.

If you are not already registered to vote, the registration deadline is October 6, 2014 for the November 4, 2014 General Election.

What to Bring?

If you are a First Time Voter, be sure to check what you will need to bring with you on Election Day.

In addition to proper identification, you may choose to bring the following items with you to the polls:

  • A list of candidates on the ballot
  • A list of key issues or specific proposals that are on the ballot

I will be 18 after registration closes, but before the election. May I register?

Yes, if your birthday is the day of the election or before.

Can changes to my information or applications be submitted via Fax?

No. The Voter Registration office cannot accept any electronic signatures.

I've had some legal problems in my past. May I vote?

Due to recent appellate court decisions, Pennsylvania has one of the nation's most permissive laws regarding voters with criminal records. Only prisoners currently incarcerated (including in halfway house treatment facilities) for conviction of a felony are prevented from voting. Any ex-felon who is released from incarceration may vote, even if still on parole, if he has a current registration. In some cases, that may mean he needs to re-register.

Anyone incarcerated awaiting trial or on conviction of a misdemeanor may vote by absentee ballot at his previous home precinct, not at the address of the correctional facility. The inmate has the obligation to initiate that request, however, preferably through a friend or family member. Our office checks with the Clerk of Courts' office all absentee ballot requests going to a correctional facility to determine why the individual is incarcerated. Non-felons get their ballots. This is pursuant to a legal opinion issued by the Attorney General's office.

I recently moved. May I still vote?

Yes. All electors who have their voter registration record listed in the pollbook at the polling place may vote one last time even though they may have moved from the division. The law has changed; it no longer matters when the voter moved from the division; if his or her name is in the pollbook, the elector is entitled to vote.

However, if a voter has moved, he should fill out a new voter registration application with his new address. The legislature has passed a law that this ability to vote at one's "old" address is limited to one time only. After that, a voter may be challenged as to residency.

I have not voted in a while. Am I still registered?

Probably. It is no longer legal to remove any voter from the rolls merely for not voting, no matter how long that may be, as long as they maintain their voter record with a valid address. Aside from death or requesting to be removed from the voter rolls, there are two ways that voters may be removed from the rolls. One is through an NCOA, or National Change of Address notice. The other is through a "5-Year No Contact" mailing.

If a voter appears on either mailing list, they are sent a notice from our office. Failure to respond to that notice, or if the notice is returned to us as undeliverable, the voter is placed on "Inactive" status. When a voter is on "Inactive" status through two federal elections (even numbered year November elections), and has not voted, he may be purged.