Deadline to Register to Vote in Primary Election Approaches

Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar today reminded all eligible Pennsylvanians to register to vote by the May 18 deadline so they can participate in the June 2 primary election.

“I encourage all eligible Pennsylvanians to make sure they are registered to vote by the deadline on Monday,” Secretary Boockvar said. “You can easily register or check your status on your cell phone or tablet at votesPA.com.”

Boockvar encouraged voters to use the state’s Online Voter Registration (OVR) website whether they are registering for the first time or updating an existing registration with a change of name, address or party affiliation.

Individuals wishing to register to vote in the June 2 primary must be:

  • A citizen of the United States 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 of age on or before the date of the primary.

On June 2, voters who are registered as Republican or Democrat will choose their parties’ nominees for President, U.S. Representative, state Attorney General, Auditor General, state Treasurer, state Representative, state Senator in odd-numbered districts, and Delegate and Alternate Delegate to the national party conventions. Pennsylvania law requires a closed primary, meaning only voters registered as Democrats or Republicans will select nominees to represent their party in the general election on November 3.

The deadline to register to vote was extended by 15 days thanks to historic bipartisan legislation signed into law last October by Governor Wolf. In addition to more time to register to vote, Pennsylvania voters will benefit from other major election reforms that will go into effect with the June primary. Voters will be able to:

  • Vote by mail-in ballot without having to provide a reason. The deadline to apply for a mail-in ballot is May 26.
  • Return their mail-in or absentee ballot by mail or at their county election office until 8 p.m. on election day.
  • Ask to be placed on a permanent mail-in voter list.

In addition, more secure and accessible voting systems will be in use in all 67 counties. The new systems produce a paper record that voters can verify before casting their ballot.

Polling places will be open in all counties, including those designated in the red phase of the COVID-19 emergency, although some polling places may be consolidated. Voters should check with their county election office or visit the department’s polling place tracker to verify their voting location.

The department and county officials are preparing to exercise every precaution to provide safe polling places not only for voters, but also for our dedicated poll workers.  The department will be providing 6,000 precinct protection kits to augment supplies that counties have procured to sanitize polling places.  Each kit contains supplies such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, equipment wipes and floor-marking tape, and will be provided to counties at no charge. Voters should wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines while visiting polling places.

For more information, call the Department of State’s toll-free hotline at 1-877-VOTESPA (1-877-868-3772) or visit votesPA.com.

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