Acting Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar reminded Pennsylvanians they have one week left to register to vote in the Nov. 5 municipal election. She encouraged citizens to take advantage of quick and convenient online voter registration (OVR).
“The Department of State’s OVR system makes registering to vote and updating registration information easy,” Secretary Boockvar said. “We want every eligible Pennsylvanian to be able to exercise their precious right to vote on Election Day.”
The state’s OVR application can be found at register.votesPA.com. In addition to applying for a new registration, the OVR system can also be used to update an existing voter record with new information, such as a change of name, address or party affiliation. Since the launch of OVR in August 2015, more than 1.4 million eligible Pennsylvanians have used the site.
Voters also are encouraged to use the online system to confirm their registration status prior to the deadline. The site provides county election office contact information, a polling place locator and voting district information.
Registered voters planning to cast an absentee ballot are advised to apply and return their voted ballot as early as possible. This is the first election that Pennsylvania voters can apply online for an absentee ballot.
Due to the 3-day time frame between the deadline to request an absentee ballot (Oct. 29) and the deadline by which county election offices must receive voted ballots (5 p.m., Nov. 1), voters are strongly urged to submit absentee ballot requests, whether online or paper, well before the deadline.
Voters may deliver their voted absentee ballots in-person to county election offices or mail them if there is adequate time for delivery. A postmark with the deadline date is not sufficient for the ballot to be counted.
On Nov. 5, Pennsylvania voters will elect judges and county and local officials. A proposed constitutional amendment on crime victims’ rights, known as Marsy’s Law, also will be on the ballot.
“It’s important to vote in municipal elections because the results have the most impact on voters’ daily lives,” Secretary Boockvar said. “Local and school board officials make decisions on property taxes, public safety, trash removal, the quality of drinking water, road improvements and other key issues.”
Individuals wishing to register to vote in the Nov. 5 election must be:
- A citizen of the United States for at least one month before the election.
- A resident of Pennsylvania and the election district in which the individual wants to register and vote for at least 30 days before the election.
- At least 18 years of age on or before the date of the election.
Eligible voters can register to vote online, by mail or in person at a county voter registration office; county assistance offices; Women, Infants & Children (WIC) program offices; PennDOT photo and driver’s 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.
Applicants using the OVR system must complete and submit their application by 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 7. Traditional paper voter registration forms must be received in county voter registration offices by close of business or postmarked by Oct. 7. Electors who do not receive confirmation of their application within 14 days of submission should contact their county voter registration office.