With the general election just over three weeks away, many are scrambling to ensure that they are able to cast a ballot. In Pennsylvania, like most other states, the deadline to register to vote or request an absentee or mail-in ballot is rapidly approaching.
To be eligible to vote in Pennsylvania, one must be at least 18 years of age, have been a U.S. citizen for at least 30 days before the election and have lived in their election district for at least 30 days prior to Election Day. The state’s deadline to register to vote for the Nov. 3 election, whether online, by mail or in-person, is Oct. 19. Applications can be found on the official Pennsylvania state government website, but all applications must be received by the prospective voter’s county voter registration office by this date to be accepted.
Pennsylvania voters with a valid reason may request an absentee ballot; this includes college students, members of the military, those who may be traveling outside of their municipality due to work or those with a physical disability or illness. Conversely, any voter can apply for a mail-in ballot without needing to provide a valid reason. Online applications for either of these ballots can be filled out at VotesPA.com/ApplyMailBallot with a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license or PennDOT ID number. Voters can also print and mail their request by visiting VotesPA.com/MailBallot, or may apply in person at their county board of elections office. Requests must be received by 5 p.m. on Oct. 27, and the ballot must be returned to their county’s election office or mailed in and postmarked by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3 to count. Mailed ballots that are not postmarked by election day and received by 5 p.m. on Nov. 6 will not be counted.
For students registered to vote in-person under their University residence hall address, their polling location will be at the University’s Weis Center, the Union County Courthouse or Eichhorn Middle School. Due to COVID-19 and mask concerns, those who previously would have voted in Larison Dining Hall will now be doing so at the Weis Center. To find the exact location, visit the Polling Place Search tool on pavoterservices.pa.gov.
For those voting in person, polling locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. Anyone who has voted at their polling location previously will not need to bring identification to receive a ballot, while anyone voting at their site for the first time must also have a valid form of identification with them. All those who are in line by the time of closing will be allowed to cast their ballot.
For more information on registration or other voting concerns, visit https://www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/.