Today, Sept. 25, is National Voter Registration Day, a national holiday we especially like to celebrate here at the Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation. We’re all about encouraging Pennsylvanians to register to vote and then, on election day, to cast their ballot.
National Voter Registration Day, first observed in 2012, falls on the fourth Tuesday of September, which is National Voter Registration Month.
The National Association of Secretaries of State and the National Association of State Election Directors, both of which Pennsylvania is a member, have endorsed the holiday.
In honor of the holiday, we’re going to answer, in today’s blog post, the top five voter registration questions we get.
How do I register?
Answer: For maximum convenience, you can apply for registration, check your registration status, or update your registration information online at https://www.votespa.com/Pages/default.aspx.
Or, you can apply for registration by filling out the voter registration application form and mailing it to your county voter registration office, postmarked by Oct. 9, 2018.
When you apply for or renew a Pennsylvania driver’s license, you will be presented with the Motor Voter option that allows you to submit your registration application at the PennDOT license center.
How do I change my registration?
Answer: You can update your voter registration online, by mail or in person using the voter registration application form and checking the correct box under #3 on the form. You need to update your voter registration if you move, change your name or address, or wish to change your party.
If you move out of Pennsylvania, or no longer wish to be a voter, you can cancel your voter registration (pdf).
How close to an election can I register to vote?
Answer: The voter registration deadline is always 30 days before any election. Oct. 9 is the deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 6 general election.
What if I move?
- If you move to a new address within Pennsylvania, you must update your voter registration. On the voter registration form, select the “Change of Address” box under # 3.
- The following guidelines cover where you vote after you move:
- If you move less than 30 days before an election, you must vote at the polling place for your old address. Fill out a change of address form at the polling place to update your voter registration to your new address.
- If you moved more than 30 days before an election, but did not update your registration, you can vote one more time at the polling place for your old address.
- If you moved within the same county, you must inform the election officials at the polling place of your new address. They will update your voter registration and send you a new voter registration card.
- If you moved to a different county, you need to fill out a form telling us your new address and the county where you moved. After the election, the county election offices for both your old and new addresses will update your voter registration. You will receive a new voter registration card with your new address.
- If you move to Pennsylvania from another state, you must register at least 30 days before an election to be able to vote in Pennsylvania.
- If you move to a different state from Pennsylvania, you may need to register before you can vote in that state. First, fill out a Request to Cancel Your Voter Registration Form (pdf) to cancel your Pennsylvania registration. Mail the form to the Pennsylvania county election office where you used to live.
I’m 17. Can I register to vote?
Answer: Yes, but only if you will be 18 on or before the next election day.
You can observe the holiday by registering to vote if you aren’t already, or updating your registration if your situation has changed lately. See # 1 and 2 above.
Happy National Voter Registration Day!