Pennsylvania voting issues

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Election and registration information

Voter ID requirements

All voters who appear at a polling place for the first time must show proof of identification. Approved forms of photo identification include:

  • Pennsylvania driver’s license or PennDOT ID card
  • ID issued by any Commonwealth agency
  • ID issued by the U.S. Government
  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. Armed Forces ID
  • Student ID
  • Employee ID

If you do not have a photo ID, you can use a non-photo identification that includes your name and address. Approved forms of non-photo identification include:

  • Confirmation issued by the County Voter Registration Office
  • Non-photo ID issued by the Commonwealth
  • Non-photo ID issued by the U.S. Government
  • Firearm permit
  • Current utility bill
  • Current paycheck
  • Government check

Provisional voting

A provisional ballot is used to record a vote when there is some question regarding a voter’s eligibility. You have the right to vote by provisional ballot if:

  • Even though you are properly registered and eligible to vote in the election district, your name does not appear on the district register (poll book) and Election Officials cannot determine your registration status.
  • You do not have an approved form of identification the first time you appear to vote in an election district (this is required regardless of whether your name appears on the general register).
  • An Election Official asserts that you are not eligible to vote. (In a primary election, this includes voters who claim to be registered for a particular political party, but the district register indicates they are registered as a member of another political party.)

You are required to vote by provisional ballot if:

  • You are voting as a result of a federal or state court order.
  • You are voting as a result of an order extending the time established for closing the polls by state law that is in effect 10 days before an election.

County Election Officials will examine the provisional ballots within seven days after an election to determine whether you were entitled to vote in the election at the election district where you voted.

Provisional Ballot Voting Instructions

If you vote by provisional ballot, you will be asked to follow these instructions:

  1. Complete and sign the provisional ballot affidavit on the back of the provisional ballot affidavit envelope.
  2. Complete a provisional ballot in an accessible and private area of the polling place.
  3. Seal the completed provisional ballot in the secrecy envelope.
  4. Seal the secrecy envelope in the provisional ballot affidavit envelope.
  5. Sign the front of the provisional ballot affidavit envelope.
  6. Return the sealed provisional ballot affidavit envelope to a polling place election official.
  7. Receive your provisional ballot identification receipt.

Voting machines

2008 election

For the 2008 election Pennsylvania used the following voting machines. For a county-by-county list of the specific machines (and the source for this section) see Verified Voting's Verifier tool.

Direct-Recording Electronic (DRE) machines with a paper trail:

Direct-Recording Electronic (DRE) machines without a paper trail:

Optical scan machines:

Digital scan machines:

Assistive Devices for Marking Paper Ballots:

Governmental election authorities

  • votesPA: The Pennsylvania Department of State's online voting information and resource center

Contact information:

  • Alternatively, you can call 1-877-VOTESPA (1-877-868-3772).

Country officials:

  • Use this website to find contact information for your county’s Election and Voter Registration Officials

Election threats

  • On voter registration, (needs information)
  • On voter education, Common Cause warns that parts of Pennsylvania's voter ed system are "unsatisfactory".
  • On absentee and early voting, ... (needs information)
  • On voter suppression and intimidation, Common Cause warns that parts of Pennsylvania's preparation for fighting intimidation and suppression are "unsatisfactory". A flyer is circulating telling voters they will be arrested at the polls if they have parking tickets.
  • On polling places and voting, Common Cause criticized Pennsylvania's polling place preparedness. Monroe County predicts long lines on election day.
  • On provisional ballots,... (needs information)
  • On vote verification and security,... (needs information)
Main article: Pennsylvania election threats

State and local non-governmental election organizations

Coalition for Voting Integrity

The Committee of Seventy

Description: The Committee of Seventy is a non-partisan organization conducting a permanent campaign to improve the Philadelphia region by demanding ethical conduct of public officials, promoting government efficiency, educating citizens and safeguarding elections. [1]

Contact information:

  • Eight Penn Center
  • 1628 JFK Boulevard
  • Suite 1002
  • Philadelphia, PA 19103
  • 215-557-3600 (p) 215-557-3608 (f)

Concerned Voters of Centre County

League of Women Voters

LWV of Pennsylvania, Andrea Mulrine, President

  • 226 Forster St.
  • Harrisburg, PA 17102-3220
  • Phone: 717-234-1576
  • Fax: 717-234-8341
  • E-mail:

Local Leagues:


Description: VotePA, a state-wide non-partisan alliance of groups and individuals fighting for all voting rights and election integrity in Pennsylvania. We were formed in early 2005 to work for fair, accurate, and accessible elections for all in the Keystone State.

Contact information:

  • VotePA
  • 6093 Pleasant Valley Road
  • Irwin, PA 15642

Voter Action's Pennsylvania Information

Articles and resources

See also


External resources

Poll location

Election Protection hotlines

Voting information

Voting rights

Voting requirements

Election officials, election reform groups, and elected officials

Absentee voting

Disabled voters

Student voting rights

State ballot

  • See how organizations you trust recommend you vote on ballot measures and other statewide contests at TransparentDemocracy.


  • Help in other languages from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. 中文, 日本語, 한국어, Tagalog, Tiếng Việt, Español

Voting machines

Election law

Voter Protection Laws in A Nutshell

External articles