Frequently Asked Questions from Voters
How will I know that I successfully registered to vote?
After the county election office processes the voter registration application, they send the voter a registration card in the mail. The card is a confirmation that the voter registration application has been processed and approved.
If the voter does not receive a registration card, there are other ways to check on the status of their application:
- Voters can check their registration status online by visiting
www.VotesPA.com, and clicking on Check Your Registration Status.
- Voters who register to vote online can use their application number to track their voter registration application at www.votespa.com/appstatus.
- Voters can call their county's voter registration office to ask about the status of their application. County contact information is at
Where do I vote?
When you look up your voter registration status online, it will list your polling place. You can look up your voter registration status at
What does it mean if my voter registration status is "inactive"?
Your voter registration may be "inactive" if you have not voted in a recent election. You can still vote if you are listed as inactive. When you go to your polling place on election day, you will be asked to sign an affirmation. Once you vote, your status will be changed back to active status.
Do I have to register with a political party?
You do not have to register with a political party, but you must register as a Democrat or Republican in order to vote in primary elections in Pennsylvania, unless there is a ballot question on the ballot. If you do not register as a Democrat or Republican, you will only be allowed to vote in special elections and general elections, and you can vote on ballot questions in a primary election.
Do I need to show identification when I vote?
You must present identification if you are voting in your election district for the first time. Acceptable ID includes both photo and non-photo ID. Non-photo ID must have your address on it. Some examples of acceptable ID are listed below:
- Pennsylvania driver's license or PennDOT ID card.
- U.S. passport.
- U.S. Armed Forces ID.
- Student ID.
- Confirmation issued by the County Voter Registration Office.
- Firearm permit.
- Current utility bill.
- Current paycheck.
More information on identification and requirements is available at
What if I can't go to my polling place on election day?
If you are not able to vote in person on election day, you may be able to vote absentee, which means the county will mail you a ballot. Once you are registered to vote, you can apply for an absentee ballot. Keep in mind that there are deadlines for absentee ballot applications. To learn more about voting absentee, including information about eligibility and deadlines, visit www.votespa.com/absentee.
You can apply for an absentee ballot using a paper absentee ballot application, which is available at www.votespa.com/absentee. Or, if you have a valid Pennsylvania driver's license or photo ID card from the PA Department of Transportation (PennDOT), you can apply online at www.votespa.com/applyabsentee.
Military and overseas voters should refer to this page for information on how to vote absentee: https://www.votespa.com/Voting-in-PA/Pages/Military-and-Overseas-Voters.aspx.
What is a provisional ballot?
Provisional ballots are paper ballots that you use on election day when the poll workers cannot confirm that you are eligible to vote. You complete the ballot and turn it in at the polling place. Then the county will decide whether to count your vote.
You may be asked to vote using a provisional ballot if there is a problem on election day. For example, if you go to vote and you are not included in the list of voters in the pollbook, or if you are voting for the first time at a particular polling place and you did not bring identification. You should only use a provisional ballot if there is no other way for you to vote.
For more information on provisional ballots, visit
What if I need help voting?
You can have someone help you vote, as long as that person is not your employer, your union representative, or the Judge of Elections. (The Judge of Elections is the head poll worker in charge at the polling place.)
When you sign in at the polling place, tell the poll worker that you need assistance voting. You will be asked to sign a "Declaration of Need of Assistance."
There is a lot of useful information for voters at www.VotesPA.com. If you receive a question that you cannot answer, you can refer voters to that website, to the PA Department of State, or to their county's election office.
Pennsylvania Department of State
County contact information is available at https://www.votespa.com/county.