Common Questions and Answers
Voter ID Press Release
Q: In regards to the Voter ID Law, what are acceptable forms of photo ID?
A: There are a number of acceptable forms of photo ID that you may use when voting. View a complete list and description of valid IDs here.
Q: Will I be required to show a photo ID on the April 24, 2012 Primary Election?
A: No. ALL voters are being requested to show an acceptable photo ID, but, are not required to do so. You will be able to vote as in the past without your ID, unless you are a first-time voter*. However, on the November 6, 2012 General Election ALL voters must present an acceptable photo ID at the polls. If you do not have an acceptable photo ID you may cast a provisional ballot.
*As a reminder, for the April 24, 2012 Primary Election, all voters who appear at a polling place for the first time must show approved forms of ID.
Q: If I do not currently have an acceptable photo ID, will I be charged by PennDOT to obtain one?
A: No. You may obtain a non-driver’s license photo ID from PennDOT for the purpose of voting. Vist PennDOT's Voter ID website for further information.
Q: In regards to the Voter ID Law, what if I have a religious objection to being photographed?
A: You can still vote by presenting a valid without‐photo driver’s license or a valid without-photo ID card issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).
Q: Who can vote in Pennsylvania?
A: Pennsylvania citizens are eligible to vote if they are at least 18 years old, have been a U.S. Citizen for at least one month and have lived in Pennsylvania and their election district for at least 30 days. Learn more about voter registration requirements.
Q: How do I register to vote?
A: There are a number of ways you can register to vote, including downloading a form, in person, by mail, at PennDOT or at government agencies. Learn more about how to register to vote.
Q: How do I find my polling place?
A: If you are a registered voter in Pennsylvania, your polling place will appear on your confirmation issued by the County Voter Registration Office. You can also locate your polling place online. Locate your polling place.
Q: When is my polling place open?
A: In Pennsylvania, polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Q: Who may vote by absentee ballot?
A: People who may opt to cast an absentee ballot include college students, those with a physical disability or illness that prevents them from going to the polling place, members of the military, or people who may have a conflict due to the celebration of a religious holiday. Learn more about absentee ballots.
Q: What is an alternative ballot?
A: An alternative ballot is a paper ballot that is completed as an alternative to physically going to the polling place. Any registered voter who has a disability OR who is 65 years of age or older, regardless of disability and who has been assigned to a polling place that has been designated “inaccessible” by the County Board of Elections, has the right to vote by an alternative ballot. Learn more about alternative ballots.
Q: I’m unsure of whether I am registered to vote – how can I find out?
A: You can determine your registration status online or contact your County Board of Elections. Confirm your registration online.
Q: How can I get more familiar with the voting system used in my county?
A: You can view an online demonstration of the type of voting system used in your zip code or county. View voting system demonstrations.
Q: Where can I find more information about voting and the election process?
A: You can learn about the importance of voting, voting rights, political parties and more in the About Voting and Elections section of this site.
Q: What is HAVA?
A: In an effort to correct the problems encountered during the November 2000 Presidential Election, the United States Congress in October 2002 enacted the Help America VoteAct of 2002. HAVA is applicable to all federal elections and outlines seven major requirements:
- Creates standards for all voting systems used by the states.
- Requires voting systems to be accessible to individuals with disabilities and those
using alternative languages.
- Requires the use of provisional ballots.
- Implements identification requirements for those who vote for the first time after
registering by mail.
- Requires states to implement a statewide voter registration database.
- Provides for a board to establish standards for what constitutes a vote.
Requires states to conduct educational programs for voters and Election Officials.