What you need to know to vote in Pennsylvania


Only 34 percent of the voting-eligible population in Pennsylvania participated in the 2008 primary election — the most recent election in which neither party had an incumbent candidate running — according the United States Election Project.

In case you’re wondering how to help boost the Keystone State’s turnout in the upcoming primary on April 26, The Daily Pennsylvanian rounded up the information you need to know to get out and vote:

So, is this a primary or caucus? Pennsylvania votes in a primary.

What exactly is a primary? It means that, unlike in a caucus, you cast a secret ballot. 

Do I need to register in order to vote? Yes; you must register to vote by Monday, March 28, which is 30 days before the April 26 primary. If you turn 18 years old after March 28 but on or before April 26, you can still register. 

What if I registered to vote in 2012 or 2014? Do I need to register again? No; you only need to re-register if you’ve changed your name, address or party affiliation.

What if I am registered to vote in my home state? Can I change my registration so that I can vote in Pennsylvania? Yes; as long as you have been a resident of Pennsylvania for at least 30 days prior to the election, you may register to vote in the state.

Do I need to be a member of a political party in order to vote in the primaries? Yes. The Pennsylvania primaries are closed, which means you can only vote in your own party’s primary. (Sorry, independents.)

How do I actually register to vote? Pennsylvania makes it quite easy for you to register. You have two options. You can fill out a simple online form. Alternately, you can print out this form and send it to Philadelphia County Voter Registration Office (520 N Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA, 19123).

What if I’m studying abroad? Can I still vote? Yes; make sure you’re registered to vote first, then fill out this absentee voter form and send it to the Voter Registration Office at the address above.

Where do I go to vote? It depends on where you live, but you can enter your address and find your polling place at this website.

Is there anything else I should know about voting? The polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. on April 26. Added bonuses include: potentially getting an “I voted!” sticker from your polling place.

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