How to Vote in Pennsylvania’s 2024 Elections

Posted on 05/02/24 by Elissa Chudwin

En español

Important dates and election information

AARP election buttons final

  • Deadline to register to vote: Monday, Oct. 21
  • Last day to apply for a mail-in or absentee ballot: Tuesday, Oct. 29, at 5 p.m.
  • General election: Tuesday, Nov. 5

Voting at a glance

  • Absentee and mail voting: Any registered voter can request a mail-in ballot without a reason. Absentee ballots — which are distinct from mail-in ballots — are only for people who have a disability or illness that prevents them from going to the polls, or for people who are out of town on Election Day.

  • Voting at the polls: Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 5. Only first-time voters need to show an approved form of ID – such as a Pennsylvania driver’s license or current utility bill – to vote at the polls on Election Day.

Recent voting changes in Pennsylvania

If you are renewing or receiving your state driver’s license or state ID at a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation site, you will automatically be taken through the voter registration process unless you choose to opt out.

The state has introduced redesigned mail-in ballot materials. Changes include clearer instructions for completing and returning your ballot and color-coded envelopes.

How to register to vote

Register online, by mail or in person. Registration forms must be received by Monday, Oct. 21, for the general election.

A woman wearing a Vote t-shirt prepares mail-in ballots to
A woman prepares mail-in ballots to be counted at a Pennsylvania polling station.
Aimee Dilger/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

  • Online: Use the state’s voter registration portal. Include your Pennsylvania driver’s license or PennDOT identification card number. If you do not have either form of ID, use the last four digits of your Social Security number.
  • By mail: Print a voter registration form, complete it and mail it to your county’s voter registration office. Include your Pennsylvania driver’s license number or PennDOT ID card number. If you do not have either, include the last four digits of your Social Security number. This form also can be used to request a mail-in ballot. Complete, sign and return the form to your county elections office.

Voter registration is automatically offered at a PennDOT photo or driver’s license center when you get or update your driver’s license.

Registering to vote on Election Day

Pennsylvania does not offer voter registration on Election Day.

Check your registration status

Use the Pennsylvania voter services portal to check your voter registration status.

How to request an absentee or mail-in ballot

Pennsylvania treats mail-in ballots differently than absentee ballots:

  • Mail-in ballots: Any registered voter can request a mail-in ballot without a reason. You also can register with the state’s annual mail-in voter list to automatically receive a mail-in ballot for every election through the third Monday in February of the following year. Note that you’ll need to submit a new request each year.
  • Absentee ballots: Only voters who have a disability or illness, or who will be out of town on Election Day, can request an absentee ballot.

Apply for either ballot online, by mail or in person:

  • Online: Starting later this year, you can use the state’s ballot request portal to request a mail-in or absentee ballot. You’ll need a Pennsylvania driver’s license or PennDOT identification card number to apply. If you don’t have either, include the last four digits of your Social Security number and upload a photo of your signature. If you don’t have an approved ID or a Social Security number, you must apply by mail or in person.

Your completed mail-in or absentee ballot application must be received by Tuesday, Oct. 29, at 5 p.m.

If you experience an emergency such as an unexpected illness, you can apply for an emergency absentee ballot. Your emergency absentee ballot application must be received by your county elections board by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Returning your absentee ballot

Your completed ballot must be sealed in the provided inner secrecy envelope, and the voter’s declaration on the outside of the outer envelope must be signed and dated.

Return your completed ballot to your county elections board by 8 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 5). Or drop off your ballot at a secure drop box or other satellite election office, if available.

You must return your own ballot, unless you are a voter with a disability who has designated someone else or you are requesting an emergency ballot.

Use the state’s voter portal to track the status of your ballot.

Voting in person before Election Day        

You can cast an absentee or mail ballot at your county elections board until Tuesday, Oct. 29, at 5 p.m.

Voting at the polls on Election Day    

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 5. Use the state's voter services portal to find a polling place near you.

Voter ID requirements on Election Day

Only first-time voters need to show an approved form of ID – such as a Pennsylvania driver’s license, U.S. passport or current bank statement – at the polls.

Voting with a disability

If you have a disability, you can designate someone else to submit your mail-in or absentee application and/or return your ballot. You and your designated agent must complete an authorization form to do so.

Every polling place statewide is required to have at least one accessible voting system. The department of state’s website includes video demonstrations on how to use the system available in your county.

Voters who need assistance completing their ballot can receive help from someone they choose, as long as that person is not an employer, union representative or judge of elections.

Find more information at the department of state’s website.

Editor’s note: This guide was originally published on Jan. 30, 2024, and has been updated with new information.

Elissa Chudwin covers federal and state policy and writes the podcast Today’s Tips from AARP. She previously worked as a digital producer for The Press Democrat in Santa Rosa, California, and as an editor for Advocate magazines in Dallas.

Also of Interest:

This story is provided by AARP Pennsylvania. Visit the AARP Pennsylvania page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

Explore the free AARP HomeFit Guide

Upcoming AARP Events

View All AARP Events

Photo of Memorial Day AARP Membership Sale.

Contact AARP
Pennsylvania