Make a plan to vote in the primaries on May 21!

If you live in Pennsylvania, please make a plan to vote in the primaries on May 21. You can see a list of upcoming elections in all states here.

Please use and share our guide to make it easier to prepare for Election Day.

***If you have any issues on Election Day, please call 1-866-OUR-VOTE. 

Issues may include (but are not limited to): being told the wrong date/time to vote; not being allowed to cast a provisional ballot; being intimidated or challenged at the polls. 

Be sure to bring this number with you when you vote!***

Who is running for office?

In Pennsylvania, voters will choose candidates for judges, school boards, and other municipal positions. The candidates who win will go on to the General Election in November. You can only vote for candidates running in your party in the Pennsylvania primaries unless there is a special election. Several districts will be holding special elections on May 21 - you can find the list here.

There are a few places you can go to check out your ballot and learn more about the people running for office in your area:
  •, a project of the League of Women Voters
  • Ballotpedia, a digital encyclopedia of American politics and elections.
These sites offer nonpartisan information to help you prepare for the election.

You can also use (another nonpartisan organization) to make sure you are registered to vote, find your polling place, and more. You can even sign up for election reminders to make sure you get out to the polls.

Will I need Voter ID?

IN MOST CASES, YOU WILL NOT NEED IDENTIFICATION TO VOTE IN THE PENNSYLVANIA ELECTIONS. Only first-time voters, voters using a new polling place, and voters using absentee ballots will need to provide ID.

If you are a first-time voter, submitting an absentee ballot, or voting at a new polling place, you should bring an approved form of identification. To see all approved forms of ID, visit the PA Department of State voting website. Acceptable forms of identification for absentee voters are available here.

Do I need to register to vote?

In Pennsylvania, voters must be registered 30 days prior to each election. If you are not sure if you are registered, you can confirm your registration status in the Pennsylvania voter registration database. If you are not registered, please register today - even if you missed the deadline for the Primary Election In Pennsylvania, you can register now to be ready for the General Election in November. You can now register to vote online, or you may register in person with your county or by mail.

To vote in Pennsylvania, you must be:
  • a US citizen for at least one month before the election
  • a Pennsylvania resident and resident of the election district for at least 30 days before the election
  • at least 18 years old on or before the election. (If you will turn 18 on or before the election, you can register now!)
If you are on active duty in the military, or you are a hospitalized or bedridden veteran, you can register at any time. See for more information.

To learn more, please visit

How do I vote with an absentee ballot?

If you can't make it to your polling place in person on Election Day, you may be able to vote by absentee ballot. To do so, you must request an absentee ballot by 5 PM on the Tuesday before the election. In certain emergency cases (such as unexpected illness or disability), you can submit an emergency application for an absentee ballot no later than 5 PM on the Friday before Election Day. You will need approved identification to vote absentee.

To vote by absentee ballot, you must already be registered in Pennsylvania. Learn more about the process and download your application here.

Where is my polling place and how will my vote be cast?

The Pennsylvania Department of State offers an online tool to help find your polling place. In Pennsylvania, the polls are open from 7 AM to 8 PM.

You can find a demo of the voting machines used at your polling station here. Some counties have purchased new election machines - you can read more about them here.

What should I bring with me to vote?

If you are a first-time voter or if you are voting at a new polling place, you should bring an approved form of identification. To see all approved forms, visit the PA Department of State voting website.

If you have any issues on Election Day, please call 1-866-OUR-VOTE. Be sure to bring this number with you to the polls!

Under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, it is illegal for any state or local government to discriminate against racial, ethnic or language minority groups by denying them the right to vote.

In Pennsylvania, you may ask for assistance to vote as long as that assistance is provided by someone other than your employer (or their agent), your union head (or their agent) or the Judge of Elections. You may choose the person who will assist you - polling workers do not have the right to choose that person for you. The first time you need assistance, you will need to fill out a form provided by the Election Official at your polling place.

If your name is not in the books at the polling place, or if you have any problems voting, please work with the Election officials to make sure you are at the right place. If you are at the correct polling place but your name is not on the books, you can vote by provisional ballot. The Board of Elections will examine the provisional ballots within seven days and will count the votes if you were properly registered and voting at the correct polling place. If you are having problems and are at the correct polling place, do not leave without casting a provisional ballot.

If you have any problems at the polls, please call 1-866-OURVOTE.

What if my gender identity or presentation do not match the name and address on my voter registration?

In Pennsylvania, only first time voters need to present identification when they go to vote. The name and information on your ID will need to match your voter registration. If you do need to show voter ID, and/or your gender presentation doesn't match with your gender marker, you should still be able to vote. 

The National Center for Transgender Equality Action Fund offers a checklist of ways to prepare for Election Day and information you can show to poll workers and election officials. You may also want to bring a friend, family member, or other person you trust to the polls to advocate with you if needed. If you have any problems, please call 1-866-OURVOTE.