HARRISBURG – Acting Secretary of State Robert Torres is reminding Pennsylvanians that Monday, April 16, is the deadline to register to vote in the May primary election.
He added that Online Voter Registration (OVR) makes the process easier than ever before.
“Voting is the most important way in which we can participate in our democracy,” Torres said.
“OVR, which has been used by more than 1 million Pennsylvanians, is the best method for registering or updating your registration.”
On May 15, primary voters who are registered as Republican or Democrat will choose the two parties’ nominees for U.S. senator, governor, lieutenant governor, representatives in Congress, half of state senators, all representatives in the General Assembly and members of the state and county party committees.
In addition, all registered voters who reside in the 48th, 68th, and 178th legislative districts will be able to vote in the special elections being held on May 15 to fill vacancies in those districts.
Torres encouraged eligible citizens to make use of the state’s OVR site, whether they are registering for the first time or updating an existing registration with a change of name, address or party affiliation.
“OVR makes registering or updating an existing registration more convenient, secure and accurate than using a traditional paper form,” Torres said.
“The OVR system ensures that applications are complete when submitted, so there is far less chance of error.”
Even applicants who do not have a driver’s license or PennDOT ID card may complete their registration online, thanks to a feature that allows users to easily upload a digital copy of their signature.
Individuals wishing to register to vote in the May 15 primary must be:
- A citizen of the United Statesfor at least one month before the primary.
- A resident of Pennsylvaniaand the election district in which the individual desires to register and vote for at least 30 days before the primary.
- At least 18 years of age on or before the date of the primary.
In addition to using the OVR site, eligible voters can register by mail or apply in person at a county voter registration office; county assistance offices; Women, Infants & Children (WIC) program offices; PennDOT photo and driver’s license centers; Armed Forces recruitment centers; county clerk of orphans’ courts or marriage license offices; area agencies on aging; county mental health and intellectual disabilities offices; student disability services offices of the State System of Higher Education; offices of special education in high schools; and Americans with Disabilities Act-mandated complementary paratransit providers.
Applications for new registration, change of address or change in party affiliation must be postmarked or received in county voter registration offices by April 16.
Pennsylvania law requires a closed primary, meaning only voters registered as Democrats or Republicans will select nominees to represent their party in the November 6 general election.
The Department of State’s Web site, votesPA.com, available in English or Spanish, offers printable voter registration applications, a polling place locator and county boards of elections contact information. It also includes tips for first-time voters and members of the military.
In addition, voters can familiarize themselves with the voting system they will use in their home county on Election Day.
For more information on voter registration, call the Department of State’s toll-free hotline at 1-877-VOTESPA (1-877-868-3772) or visit votesPA.com.