The deadline to register to vote is approaching | News, Sports, Jobs

HARRISBURG — Acting Secretary of State Leigh M. Chapman reminds eligible Pennsylvanians that Monday, May 2, is the deadline to register to vote in the May primary.

“The right to vote is fundamental, and every eligible Pennsylvanian should have access to free and fair elections,” Chapman said. “Registering to vote is the first step to gaining access. The Department of State is urging all eligible Pennsylvanians who want to vote in the May 17 primary to register to vote or update their registration information by May 2.

Chapman encouraged Pennsylvanians to use online voter registration (OVR) as a simple way to ensure their voice is heard. Voters can access this tool in English, Spanish and Traditional Chinese. In addition to requesting a new registration, voters can use the OVR site to update their existing voter record, such as a change in name, address, or party affiliation.

Applicants who do not have a driver’s license or Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) identification card can complete their online registration using the last four digits of their Social Security number and a feature that allows users download a digital copy of their signature.

To be eligible to vote in the May 17 primary, a person must be:

— A US citizen for at least one month prior to the primary;

— A resident of Pennsylvania and the electoral district in which the individual plans to register and vote for at least 30 days before the primary; and

— Be at least 18 years old on the date of primary school or before.

Only voters registered as Democrats or Republicans will select primary candidates to represent their party in the Nov. 8 general election. However, all registered voters can vote on all local ballot issues, and all voters in Philadelphia’s 5th Senate District will be able to vote in a special election on the same day as the primary.

Eligible voters can register by mail or register to vote in person at the following locations:

— departmental electoral offices;

— Departmental assistance offices;

— Offices of the Women, Infants & Children (WIC) program;

— PennDOT photo and driver’s license centers;

— Armed forces recruitment centres;

— County Registry of Orphans’ Courts or Registry of Wills Offices;

— Regional agencies on ageing; at county mental health and developmental disabilities (MHID) offices;

— Offices of Services for Students with Disabilities in the PA State Higher Education System;

— Special education offices in high schools; and in the complementary paratransit provider mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The department’s voting website,, is available in English, Spanish, and Traditional Chinese, and offers printable voter registration forms, a polling place locator, and contact information for election commissions in county. It contains advice for new voters and the military. Voters can also familiarize themselves with their polling station’s voting system and check their registration status.

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