“In a ‘government by the people’ – we owe it to each other to make sure we all vote”
Voters Urged to Learn the Rules and Deadline Dates
With Primary Day just over a week away, Common Cause Pennsylvania Executive Director Khalif Ali is urging Keystone State voters to “learn the rules and deadline dates – and make a plan to vote.”
Voters who have questions or problems can contact the nonpartisan Election Protection hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE. Started in the wake of the 2000 presidential election, the program is now run by a nonpartisan coalition of more than 100 organizations. It has more than 40,000 volunteers nationwide, including more than 2,000 in Pennsylvania. Hotline assistance is also available in Spanish at 888-VE-Y-VOTA; in Asian languages at 888-API-VOTE; and in Arabic at 844-YALLA-US.
Nonpartisan election protection volunteers will be at select polling locations to assist voters in person on May 17.
Voters can check their registration status online at https://www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/pages/voterregistrationstatus.aspx.
Tuesday, May 10 is the deadline to request a mail ballot, and the last day to vote “early in-person.”
Pennsylvania voters can request a ballot online at https://www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/OnlineAbsenteeApplication/#/OnlineAbsenteeBegin.
Voters requesting a mail ballot need to confirm their identities with a PennDOT number, the last four digits in a social security number, or certain other identification. More information about required ID is available at https://www.vote.pa.gov/Voting-in-PA/Pages/Mail-and-Absentee-Ballot.aspx#id-mail.
Mail ballots must be received by the county election board before 8 pm on election day, May 17. A list of ballot return sites is available at https://www.vote.pa.gov/Voting-in-PA/Pages/Return-Ballot.aspx.
Voters can also apply for a mail ballot in-person at their county board of elections office, then complete and return the ballot while there – allowing voters to cast their ballots in-person before election day. More information about “early in-person” voting is available at https://www.vote.pa.gov/Voting-in-PA/Pages/Early-Voting.aspx.
Voters with disabilities may bring a person of their choice with them to polling locations to assist in the voting process, so long as the assister is not: an election judge, their employer, or their union representative.
Some voters with disabilities have the right to designate a third party to apply for or deliver their mail ballots. Read more about accessible voting at https://www.vote.pa.gov/Voting-in-PA/Pages/Accessible-Voting.aspx.
Both the General Primary and a special election for the 5th Senatorial District will be held on Tuesday, May 17. Polling place locations and other information about voting in person on election day is available at https://www.vote.pa.gov/Voting-in-PA/Pages/Voting-at-a-Polling-Place.aspx.
Military and overseas (UOCAVA) ballots must be mailed by May 16 and received by the county board of elections by May 24 to be counted.
October 24 is the last day to register to vote, to be able to vote in the November election.
November 1 is the last day to apply for a mail ballot for the November election.
The General Election will be held on Tuesday, November 8.
Statement of Common Cause Pennsylvania Executive Director Khalif Ali
Our ‘government by the people’ is stronger and more representative when we all participate by voting.
But anti-voter rhetoric, court cases and proposed legislation have created confusion about how Pennsylvanians can exercise our freedom to vote.
So, it’s more important than ever for Pennsylvania voters to learn the rules, learn about deadline dates, and make a plan to vote. People who plan how and when they’re going to vote are more likely to actually cast ballots and have their voices heard.
This year, it’s also important for all of us to encourage each other to cast our ballots. In our government ‘by the people’ we owe it to each other to make sure we all vote.
For anyone who has problems voting, help is available through the nonpartisan Election Protection hotline. Just call 866-OUR-VOTE. The program has been around for more than two decades; it’s run by a nonpartisan coalition of more than 100 organizations; and it has a lot of expertise in helping voters.
So Pennsylvanians don’t have to find our way through the confusion alone. If we have questions, we can contact either our country elections office or the nonpartisan hotline.
I urge all voters in Pennsylvania to make sure we make our voices heard in this election. It doesn’t matter if you call our government a ‘democracy’ or a ‘republic’ – either way, it depends on all of us participating in it, by voting.