Secretary of the Commonwealth Reminds Pennsylvanians of April 20 Voter Registration Deadline

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Yesterday Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro A. Cortés reminded Pennsylvanians to register to vote for the May 19 primary election.

Eligible citizens must be registered and enrolled in a major political party (Democratic or Republican) by Monday, April 20, to vote in that party’s primary.

“Voting is one of our most fundamental rights,” Cortés said. “It is the means by which we choose our representatives in the halls of government. Voting is also a civic responsibility, a duty for every eligible citizen who wishes to participate fully in our democracy.”

On May 19, voters will cast ballots in the municipal primary election to nominate candidates for county and local office, as well as seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Superior Court and Commonwealth Court.

Pennsylvania law requires a closed primary, meaning only voters registered as Democrats or Republicans will select nominees to represent their party in the November general election. However, all registered electors, regardless of party affiliation, are entitled to vote on ballot questions and in all special elections that might be held concurrently with a primary.

Individuals wishing to register to vote for the May 19 primary must be:

•A citizen of the United States for at least one month before the primary.
•A resident of Pennsylvania and the election district in which the individual desires to register and vote for at least 30 days before the primary.
•At least 18 years of age on or before the primary.

Eligible voters can register by mail or apply in person at a county voter registration office; county assistance offices; Women, Infants & Children (WIC) program offices; PennDOT photo and driver’s license centers; Armed Forces recruitment centers; county clerk of orphans’ courts or marriage license offices; area agencies on aging; county mental health and intellectual disabilities offices; student disability services offices of the State System of Higher Education; offices of special education in high schools; and Americans with Disabilities Act-mandated complementary paratransit providers.

Applications for new registration, change of address or change in party affiliation must be postmarked or received in county voter registration offices by April 20. Electors who do not receive confirmation of their application within 14 days of submission should contact the voter registration office in their county.

The Department of State’s website offers printable voter registration applications, a polling place locator and county boards of elections contact information. It also includes tips for first-time voters and members of the military. In addition, voters can familiarize themselves with the voting system they will use in their home county on Election Day. To watch videos with step-by-step instructions, click on the “Voting & Elections” tab, scroll to “Be Prepared” and select “Voting System Demos.” A Spanish version of the site is also available by clicking on the language selector at the top of each page.

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

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