Pennsylvania Absentee Ballot Guide

Last updated March 22, 2016
Military and Overseas voters should visit the Overseas Vote Foundation. Long Distance Voter's information should only be used by voters with US mailing addresses.

Important deadlines

  • Voter Registration Form: Received 30 days before the election
  • Absentee Ballot Application: Received by 5:00 p.m. on the Tuesday before the election
  • Voted Absentee Ballot: Received by 5:00 p.m. on the Friday before the election

How to vote by absentee ballot

Register to vote

Recommended: Use our Voter Registration Tool. Enter your information, print and sign the completed form, and mail it to the address printed on the form.  

You can also use the Pennsylvania Voter Registration Mail Application.  Mail your completed form to your County Voter Registration Office.  The addresses are on the form.  

Verify your voter registration

It's best to verify your voter registration before applying for your absentee ballot.  If there's a problem with your registration, register again before proceeding.

NOTE: Most people receive their voter registration cards in the mail 2-3 weeks after registering to vote. Don't worry if you lost your voter registration card. You don't actually need it to vote.

Make sure you're eligible to vote by absentee ballot

You can vote by absentee ballot in Pennsylvania if you:

  • are in the US military, regardless of whether you will be present in your election district of residence or in the Commonwealth, and regardless of whether you are registered to vote;
  • are a spouse or dependent residing with or accompanying a person in the US military, and you expect to be absent on Election Day during the entire period in which the polling places are open for voting (7am to 8pm);
  • are a member of the Merchant Marine, or his/her spouse or dependent, and you expect to be absent on Election Day during the entire period in which the polling places are open for voting (7am to 8pm);
  • are a member of a religious or welfare group attached to and serving with the armed forces, or his/her spouse or dependent residing with or accompanying him or her, and you expect to be absent on Election Day during the entire period in which the polling places are open for voting (7am to 8pm);
  • expect to be absent on Election Day during the entire period in which the polling places are open for voting (7am to 8pm) because of your duties, occupation or business (including leaves of absence for teaching, vacations and sabbatical leaves);
  • are a qualified war veteran who is bedridden or hospitalized due to illness or physical disability and unable to attend your polling place because of such illness or disability, regardless of whether you are registered to vote;
  • are unable to attend your polling place or operate a voting machine and obtain assistance by a distinct and audible statements because of illness or physical disability (note: you may be placed on a permanently disabled absentee file);
  • are the spouse or dependent accompanying a person employed by the Commonwealth or the federal government, in the event that the employee's duties, occupation or business on Election Day require him/her to be absent from the Commonwealth or the municipality of residence during the entire period the polls are open for voting (7am to 8pm);
  • are a county employee who expects that your Election Day duties relating to the election will prevent you from voting
  • will not attend a polling place on Election Day because of the observance of a religious holiday.

Apply for your absentee ballot

Download and complete the Pennsylvania Absentee Ballot Application.   Mail your completed form to your County Election Office.  NOTE TO COLLEGE STUDENTS: being an out-of-state/out-of-county college student is not listed as a possible reason on the form, but it is a valid reason to vote absentee, as explained on the PA offical website.

Receive, complete and return your absentee ballot

Your election official will mail you a ballot and a return envelope.  Complete the ballot, seal it, sign where indciated and and return it to your County Election Office.  Your absentee ballot must be received by 5 p.m. on the Friday before Election Day.

Additional Information 

State Election Website: http://www.votespa.com
Local Election Officials: Your Local Election Official is the best person to contact if you have questions.  They'll be able to provide up-to-date information on rules and deadlines. 

 

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