Information for Pennsylvania Voters
The trial for a permanent injunction of Pennsylvania's Voter ID law (Act 18 of 2012) was conducted in Commonwealth Court July 15th - August 1st.
- SmartVoter.org - On-line personalized ballot, voters guide & polling place lookup
Your Voting Rights
Your right to vote should not be made difficult for you! Report any difficulties you encounter to your Election Bureau and/or the League at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to learn more about your voting rights.
Frequently Asked Questions About Voting in Pennsylvania
Am I eligible to vote?
If you are a citizen of the US, 18 years of age (or will be 18 before the election) and registered to vote and live in the PA and your election district for at least 30 days, you can vote! Click here to learn more about voter registration requirements.
How do I register to vote?
Get a registration form from your County Registration office or download a voter's registration form and mail it to your County office.
I am in the military. How can I vote?
If you are a member of the military, click here to learn your voting rights.
I can't make it on election day due to an emergency. What do I do?
If you can't make it to the polls on election day, here are the options available to you:
- Absentee Ballots are a way to keep your right to vote.
- Alternative Ballots can be used for handicapped and senior voters who find their polling place non-accessible.
- Emergency Ballots (pdf) can be filed on Election Day using the Emergency Absentee Ballot Application (pdf)
- Additional forms must be filed when an Emergency, Alternative and Absentee voter needs assistance. Click here for more information.
I went to the polls and my name was NOT LISTED in the poll book. What should I have done?
If your name is not listed, ask for a Provisional Ballot.
Where do I go to vote?
Click here to find your polling place.
Where can I see how a voting machine works?
Click here for a demonstration of a voting machine.
If you are not registered to vote, need to change your name/address or want to change your political party registration, visit VotesPA.com.
Voter ID Trial Scheduled to Start July 15, 2013
Plaintiffs Will Ask Court to Extend Preliminary Injunction Until Conclusion of Lawsuit
Judge Robert Simpson has issued an order scheduling the voter ID trial for July 15, 2013, at the Pennsylvania Judicial Center in Harrisburg. The trial is expected to last about a week. Plaintiffs are seeking a permanent injunction to stop implementation of the state’s voter ID law.
Plaintiffs will be filing a motion asking the court to extend its preliminary injunction, which prevented the law from being implemented for in person voting this past November, until the legal case has been concluded. The motion is due by Feb. 8, 2013, with a response due by Feb. 13, 2013. In his order, Judge Simpson set a date of March 21 for a final decision on the extension of the preliminary injunction.
Plaintiffs in the voter ID case are represented by the Public Interest Center of Philadelphia, Advancement Project, the ACLU of Pennsylvania, and the Washington, DC law firm of Arnold & Porter.
A copy of Judge Simpson’s scheduling order is available here: http://www.aclupa.org/downloads/schedulingorder.PDF
Results of December 13, 2012 Voter ID Law Conference
Lawyers on both sides of the Voter ID agreed that the case should continue and that the PA Commonwealth and Supreme Courts must rule on the Constitutionality of Act 18. The only area of disagreement was how soon the case should be heard, and is another preliminary injunction hearing necessary.
Judge Simpson and the Plaintiffs' lawyers want to wait until summer so more information can be gathered, and the Judge will have adequate time to spend the 60 days he believes are required for him to rule, plus give adequate time for his ruling to be appealed to the PA Supreme Court.
Judge Simpson hopes both sides will agree to not requiring a photo ID with expiration date until the constitutionality of Act 18 is settled. This would keep the courts from having to be involved in another round of preliminary injunction hearings.
The state argued that there is no new information, and the case should be heard in late February or early March, and that there is plenty of time to resolve this before the May 21st election.
Judge Simpson will be making his decision on when the case will be heard shortly.
The League and all of the plaintiffs involved in the Preliminary Injunction will continue to be part of the case. We urge you to report to the LWVPA office any experiences you had related to Voter ID that might be of help in ruling on the Constitutionality of Act 18. The issue remains: Can everyone entitled to vote be able to get a photo ID with an expiration date?
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Useful League Publications
- Who's Who at the Polls (pdf)
Includes information about all aspects of your polling place including a list of officials and their responsibilities.
- Citizen Poll Watchers Checklist (pdf)
A checklist to be sure your polling place is operated in compliance with the law and provides information on how to report any irregularities.
- Taking Charge: Voting Rights (pdf)
A guide to registration and voting in Pennsylvania.
- Who's Who in the Party (pdf)
Information about party officials and structure.