Acting Secretary of State Leigh M. Chapman marked National Voter Registration Day by reminding Pennsylvanians that the deadline to register to vote in the November election is Oct. 24 and by visiting three college campuses to encourage students to register to vote.
“Census data show that 1.7 million Pennsylvanians are eligible to vote but are not registered to do so,” Chapman said. “I encourage every one of those eligible Pennsylvania voters to take a few minutes to register online before the Oct. 24 deadline. Exercise your fundamental right to vote, and let your voice be heard in our next election.”
In visits to Montgomery County Community College, Lincoln University in Chester County and Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology in Lancaster County, Chapman discussed how to register to vote with students, some of whom will be voting for the first time in the Nov. 8 election.
To be eligible to register to vote, Pennsylvanians must be:
- A citizen of the United States for at least one month before the election,
- A resident of Pennsylvania and the election district (municipality or precinct) in which the individual desires to register and vote for at least 30 days before the election, and
- At least 18 years of age on or before the date of the election.
Pennsylvanians who are already registered to vote can check their registration status online and update their voter record with changes such as name or address.
Chapman also reminded Pennsylvanians that Nov. 1 is the deadline to apply for a mail-in ballot.
To ensure their mail ballot is received before the 8 p.m. Nov. 8 deadline, voters should apply for their mail ballot today, complete the ballot when they receive it and return it to their county elections board right away.
The Department of State’s website at vote.pa.gov offers a Ready to Vote toolkit and Resource Center where Pennsylvanians can find a wealth of information, such as:
- a polling place locator,
- contact information for county boards of election,
- video demonstrations of the voting system used in each county,
- voter registration forms,
- information on mail-in and absentee voting, and
- printer-friendly voter education materials.
In addition to registering online, eligible Pennsylvanians can register to vote by mail or in person at many locations, including:
- their county voter registration office,
- county assistance offices,
- Women, Infants & Children (WIC) program offices,
- PennDOT photo and drivers’ license centers,
- Armed Forces recruitment centers,
- county clerk of orphans’ courts or marriage license offices,
- Area Agencies on Aging,
- county mental health and intellectual disabilities offices,
- student disability services offices of the State System of Higher Education,
- offices of special education in high schools, and
- Americans with Disabilities Act-mandated complementary paratransit providers.
An executive order signed by Gov. Tom Wolf earlier this month designates the following seven state agencies and programs as Voter Registration Distribution Agencies that must provide voter registration materials and information to their clients:
- Department of State at public Bureau of Elections, Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, and Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations locations,
- Department of Agriculture at events at the Farm Show Complex,
- Department of Conservation and Natural Resources at 121 state park office locations,
- Department of Corrections in connection with Bureau of Community Corrections services,
- Department of Education at library locations,
- Labor and Industry programs at CareerLink offices, and
- Department of Military and Veterans Affairs at state veterans homes.
The executive order also designated September as Voter Registration Month in Pennsylvania. The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) established September as National Voter Registration Month in 2002 as a non-partisan means of encouraging voter participation and increasing awareness of state voting requirements and election deadlines.