Qualifications to Vote in PA
In order to be eligible to register to vote, you must:
- You must be a citizen of the United States for at least one month.
- You must be a resident of Pennsylvania and your election district for at least 30 days before the next election.
- You must be 18 years of age or older on the day of the next election to vote.
- Important Notice - On December 26, 2000, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court ordered the removal of the felony conviction prohibition as a qualification for voter registration. When completing the Voter Registration Mail Application (VRMA), a convicted felon who is released from prison may make application to register to vote by striking through the felony conviction line at Section9(2) on the VRMA and signing his or her name.
- In order to vote in any specific election, you must be registered 30 days prior to that election. If your voter registration form is complete, your registration is effective 10 days after processing by the Department of Elections. If you do NOT receive a Voter Notification Card, contact the Elections Department.
- If you wish to receive an absentee ballot by mail, a written application must be received by the Department of Elections at least seven days before the election. The absentee ballot must be returned by the close of business on the Friday before the election.
- You must re-register whenever you move, in order to protect all of your rights as a voter and potential nomination petition signer.
Please remember to include a full residential address and a mailing address, if different, when filling out a Voter Registration Application by mail. We can no longer accept Rural Route addresses or P.O. boxes for voter registration. A house number and street or road name are required. If you get your mail at another address, we need that one, too.
Qualifications for Voters at a Primary
The qualifications for a voter entitled to vote at a primary are the same as a voter entitled to vote at an election, except that he or she must be registered in a political party in order to take part in and vote in that party's primary. However, all registered voters are entitled to vote on questions placed on the ballot or at a special election held concurrently with a Primary.
Registering to Vote at the Elections Office
You may register to vote at the Berks County Elections Office, Services Center, 633 Court Street, located at the corner of Court and Reed Streets, downtown Reading, Pa., 19601. Regular business hours are 8:00a.m.to 5:00 p.m. The telephone number is (610) 478-6490.
Registering to Vote at PennDot Drivers License Centers
You may register to vote when applying for or renewing your Pennsylvania Drivers License. Your application for a drivers license or renewal may also serve as an application for voter registration or an update to your voter registration status.
Registering to Vote by Mail
You may register to vote by mail. Registration-by-mail forms, which may also be used to change your name, address or political party affiliation are available at many Municipal Buildings, State Liquor Stores and some branches of the United States Postal Service. In addition, forms may be obtained at many Federal, State Senate and State House Representative District Offices as well as from your local political party committee members. Forms may also be obtained by our office at (610) 478-6490.
You may also use the Pennsylvania state registration form by linking to the Pennsylvania Department of State's Web site. There you may download, print, complete, sign and send the form to:
Attn: Election Services, Berks County Services Center, 633 Court Street, 1st Floor, Reading, PA 19601
Register to Vote at Government Agencies
In addition to PennDOT, you can register to vote at many other state government offices, including:
- State offices that provide public assistance and services to persons with disabilities
- Armed Forces Recruitment Centers
- County Clerk of Orphans' Court offices, including each Marriage License Bureau
- Area Agencies on Aging
- Centers for Independent Living
- County Mental Health and Mental Retardation offices
- Student disability services offices of the State System of Higher Education
- Offices of Special Education
- DA Complementary Paratransit offices
Pennsylvania law provides for permanent voter registration, unless the voter's registration should be cancelled in accordance with law. All electors, except those in the military service of the United States and bedridden or hospitalized war veterans unavoidably absent from their county of residence, must be registered to be eligible to vote
Deadline for Registering to Vote
The deadline for in-person voter registration is 30 days prior to each primary or election. Registration-by-mail forms must be postmarked no later than the voter registration deadline in order to be processed for the upcoming primary or election.
WARNING: As of Jan. 1, 2003, under the Federal Help America Vote Act of 2002, all new registrations must include your PA driver's license number. If you do not have a valid PA driver's license, then you may use the last four digits of your Social Security Number. Please include them under your signature on the form below.
PLEASE NOTE: This is for printing and mailing only! In Pennsylvania, all election documents require actual signature.