October 1, 2023 4:49 am

Local News

May 2 Is The Deadline To Register To Vote

Credit: iStock

According to a state press release

Acting Secretary of State Leigh M. Chapman today reminded eligible Pennsylvanians that May 2 is the deadline to register to vote in the May primary.

“The right to vote is fundamental, and every eligible Pennsylvanian should have access to free and fair elections,” Secretary Chapman said. “Registering to vote is the first step to gaining access. The Department of State urges every eligible Pennsylvanian who wishes to vote in the May 17 primary to register to vote or update their registration information by May 2.”

Secretary Chapman encouraged Pennsylvanians to use Online Voter Registration (OVR) as a simple way to ensure their voices are heard. Voters can access this tool in English, Spanish and now traditional Chinese.

In addition to applying for a new registration, voters can use the OVR site to make updates to their existing voter record, such as a change of name, address or party affiliation. Applicants who do not have a driver’s license or Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) ID card may complete their registration online using the last four digits of their Social Security number and a feature that allows users to upload a digital copy of their signature.

To be eligible to vote in the May 17 primary, an individual must be:

  • A U.S. citizen for at least one month before the primary.
  • A resident of Pennsylvania and of the election district in which the individual plans to register and vote for at least 30 days before the primary.
  • At least 18 years old on or before the date of the primary.

Only voters registered as Democrats or Republicans will select nominees in the primary to represent their party in the November 8 general election. However, all registered voters are able to vote on any local ballot questions, and all voters in the 5th Senatorial District in Philadelphia will be able to vote in a special election on the same day as the primary.

Eligible voters can register through the mail or register to vote in person at the following places:

  • County elections offices
  • County assistance offices
  • Women, Infants & Children (WIC) program offices
  • PennDOT photo and drivers’ license centers
  • Armed forces recruitment centers
  • County clerk of orphans’ courts or register of wills offices
  • Area agencies on aging
  • County mental health and intellectual disabilities (MHID) offices
  • Student disability services offices of the PA State System of Higher Education
  • Offices of special education in high schools
  • Americans with Disabilities Act-mandated complementary paratransit provider

The department’s voting website, vote.pa.gov, is available in English, Spanish, and traditional Chinese, and offers printable voter registration applications, a polling place locator and county boards of elections contact information. It has tips for first-time voters and members of the military. Voters can also familiarize themselves with the voting system at their polling place and check their registration status.