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Information for College Students

If you're a PA college student, you have many options to vote.

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Registering to Vote 

To be eligible to vote in Pennsylvania, you must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States for at least one month before the next primary, special, municipal, or general election.
  • Be a resident of Pennsylvania and the election district in which you want to register and vote for at least 30 days before the next primary, special, municipal, or general election.
  • Be at least 18 years of age on or before the day of the next primary, special, municipal, or general election.

You have a choice of which address to use to register to vote:

  • You can register and vote where you live while attending college in PA or at your prior home address, provided your family or guardian still reside there.
  • If you are registering where you live while attending college in PA, you can use either an on-campus or off-campus address.
  • You can only be registered in one place at a time.

Whatever you choose, you have to register to vote at least 15 days before the election.



You have the right to register and vote where you live while attending college in Pennsylvania. You can use either an on-campus or off-campus address.


Voting by mail

  • Any qualified PA voter can request a mail-in ballot.
  • If you are studying abroad and will be out of the country on Election Day, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program for information on how to vote while abroad.
  • If studying away from college temporarily, such as with your family at their home due to COVID-19 mandated online or distance learning or undertaking an internship or similar program elsewhere in the U.S., you can use the temporary address for your ballot.

How to vote by mail

  1. Request your mail-in ballot

If you have a PennDOT ID, request a mail-in ballot online.

If you don't have a PennDOT ID, you can print and mail the request form to the county election office in your college's voting district, or to the county election office of the county of your  prior home address if you care to vote there.


  1. Return your mail-in ballot

When you get the ballot in the mail, mark it and send it back to your County Election Board or other designated location.

Learn more about mail-in and absentee ballots.


Voting in-person



Frequently asked questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about voting as a college student. Keep in mind that each situation is different. If you have a question that isn't answered here, contact the county election office in your college's voting district.

 

What is the difference between an absentee ballot and a mail-in ballot?

As of 2019, all PA voters can request a mail-in ballot with no excuse required. So if you are a college student, you can request a mail-in or an absentee ballot. If you have doubts about which ballot is right for you, request a mail-in ballot.

If you are studying abroad and will be out of the country on Election Day, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program for information on how to vote while abroad.


What if I first moved to PA fewer than 30 days before the next election?

You will not be able to register to vote in PA for the next election.

 

What if I've moved within PA to a new election district fewer than 30 days before the next election?

You can go to your former polling place in person on election day and vote in your former district. You must inform the judge of elections that your address has changed before you vote. You can also vote using a mail-in ballot in your former district on a one-time basis.

 

What if I'm registered in another jurisdiction besides my college voting district?

You will not be able to register to vote in your college voting district. Contact the Board of Elections in your previous voting district to cancel your previous registration before registering to vote in Pennsylvania. You will still need to meet the requirements as to eligibility.