Voting info available by text; Deadlines approaching; Voter intimidation against the law

An estimated 2 million eligible Pennsylvanians aren't registered to vote.

Oct. 11 is the deadline to register before the Nov. 8 election, when candidates for president, U.S. senator and other offices will be on the ballot. Pennsylvania now has online registration at www.votespa.com.

Other important deadlines:

  • Nov. 1: Last day to apply for a civilian absentee ballot; and
  • Nov. 4: Last day to return a completed civilian absentee ballot.

To be eligible to vote in Pennsylvania, you must be at least 18 on or before the next election and be a U.S. citizen and resident of the district you are registering in for at least one month before the upcoming election.

Pennsylvania recently launched a voter registration text messaging service. Eligible Pennsylvanians can text the word "PA" to "2Vote" (28683) on their smartphones. The user will receive a link that provides direct access to the online voter registration application, voter registration status, polling place locator and link to contacts for county offices and the Department of State.

Also, despite a common misconception, people convicted of a crime may still have the right to vote. More information about voting with a criminal conviction in Pennsylvania can be found here.  

The Department of State’s website votespa.com, available in English and Spanish, offers printable voter registration applications, and a polling place locator. It also includes tips for first-time voters and members of the military. 

If you know someone who isn't registered to vote, please forward this email to them.

I also want to remind you that voter intimidation is against the law in Pennsylvania.

Voter intimidation includes, but is not limited to:

  • Intimidating or coercing voters, threatening force, violence, injury, restraint, damage, harm, or loss to get a person to vote or not vote for a particular candidate or issue; or
  • Using abduction, duress, coercion, or other forcible or fraudulent method to interfere with a person’s right to vote.

If you believe you were the victim of voter intimidation or witnessed it occurring at your polling place, you should report it to your local county board of elections or the district attorney’s office.

You may also file a complaint online