Civic Engagement and Voter Empowerment
These are nonpartisan voter registration, mobilization, and election protection campaigns created to increase voter participation in Pennsylvania and dedicated to expanding the role of the state's 501(c}(3} nonprofit organizations in voting and elections.
Registering to Vote: FAQ
How do I check my voter registration status?
You may check your registration status at votesPA.com/status .
Who can vote an absentee ballot?
- Voters who are serving in the armed forces, Merchant Marine, or who are outside the United States because of business, and their accompanying spouses and dependents.
- Voters who are absent from their municipality during the time the polls are open because of work.
- Voters who cannot attend their polling place because of illness or disability or veterans who are bedridden or hospitalized.
- Voters who are county employees and cannot vote at the polling place because of their duties relating to the conduct of the election.
- Voters who cannot attend because of observance of a religious holiday.
- Voters and their accompanying spouses who are absent due to a leave of absence or sabbatical leave.
- Voters who are absent because they are on vacation.
- Voters who are college students and are attending school away from home.
How can I vote by absentee ballot?
Fair Districts PA
Know Your Rights
Everyone has the right to have their voice heard. There is no more time to waste! Look below to see how you can break through silence.
Can my right to vote be challenged?
Yes, but only for certain reasons and by certain people. An election official, poll watcher, or other voter may only challenge a voter on the grounds that the voter does not live in the precinct or the voter is not the person the voter says he or she is. The voter may still vote normally by signing a challenge affidavit and producing a witness to vouch for him or her. Call the Election Protection Hotline call the Election Protection Hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) if you need assistance.
What if I’m not on the voter list?
First, ask the election official to check the list again or to look at the supplemental list, which is a list of recent changes to the voting rolls. Offer to spell your name. If an election official tells you that you are at the wrong polling place, ask for help finding the right polling place. You can also call your county board of elections or look up your polling place at votespa.com. If you believe you’re at the right polling place but your name isn’t on the voter list, ask for a provisional ballot.
Who is allowed in a polling place?
Only precinct election officials, clerks, machine inspectors, watchers, no more than 10 persons in the process of voting, persons lawfully giving assistance to voters, and police officers in the act of voting or who have been called to the polling place to preserve the peace, are allowed inside or within 10 feet of the polling place while voting is in progress. Everyone else, including individuals handing out campaign literature, must remain at least 10 feet away.
What is a provisional ballot?
A provisional ballot is used to record your vote when there’s a question about your eligibility. It will only be counted if election officials determine after the election that you were eligible to vote. You should use a provisional ballot only if there is no other way for you to vote.
For questions related to voting, whether before or on Election Day, contact the nonpartisan Election Protection Hotline at: 866-OUR-VOTE
What if someone tries to intimidate or harass me?
Tell an election official right away. Call your county board of elections, or call the Election Protection Hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683).
What if the voting machine is broken?
Report all broken equipment to 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) and to your county board of elections. If half or more of the voting equipment is not working, election officials must allow you to vote with a paper ballot known as an emergency paper ballot.
Do I need any ID to vote?
Only voters who are voting for the first time in their election district need to show ID. Acceptable ID includes both photo and non-photo ID. Non-photo ID must have your address on it.
Voting Rights of
Convicted Felons, Convicted
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of State
Click here for more information regarding your rights.
Check out VOTESPa for all your Pennsylvania Voting Needs:
Using VAN for Grassroots Outreach and Education and Issue Advocacy
The VAN (Voter Activation Network) -- a database of Pennsylvania residents, linked to demographic, consumer, and voting data -- can be a powerful tool to assist with your grassroots outreach and advocacy tactics. Here are some ways that the VAN can be used for your efforts:
Target Your Constituency:
- You can use data in the VAN to target your efforts to a specific constituency; the key is to find the people who you can actually influence and focus on them. You can create targeted lists based on geography, age, gender, marital status, etc.
Track Activists for Outreach:
- You can flag and track people who you will engage throughout the legislative session, so you can pull these lists for calling or sending information
- Enter data from previous campaigns -- pledge cards, volunteer lists
- Match lists
- Flag individuals with codes
- Track responses to survey questions