Voting with a Criminal Conviction in Pennsylvania

Election Day is Tuesday, November 6, 2018.

You must register to vote by Tuesday, October 9, 2018.
You can register online at www.votespa.com.

All voters must be U.S. citizens, be at least 18 years old on Election Day, and have been a resident of Pennsylvania for at least 30 days before the election.

Here’s what people need to know about voting with a criminal conviction in Pennsylvania. Please note that this information only applies to Pennsylvania. Other states have different laws.

Who is allowed to register and vote?

  • People in jail or prison who have been convicted of misdemeanors (must vote with an absentee ballot)
  • People who are under house arrest (must vote with an absentee ballot)
  • People who are on probation or on parole
  • People who are on parole or probation and living in a halfway house or community corrections center (must vote with an absentee ballot and cannot use the address of the halfway house as their registration address. Must use previous or future address.)
  • People being held in jail while they are waiting to go to trial (must vote with an absentee ballot)

Who is not eligible to register and vote?

  • People who are in prison or jail because of a felony conviction and who won’t be released before the election
  • People who have been convicted of violating Pennsylvania election laws within the past four years

If you are already registered to vote, you do not need to do anything to regain your voting rights.

If you are not registered or you need to update your address, you must do so by Tuesday, October 9, 2018. You can register to vote and update your personal information at www.votespa.com.

How to get an absentee ballot in Pennsylvania

A voter who needs an absentee ballot has to apply for one by filling out this form and sending it to his or her county board of elections.

The county board of elections must get the application for an absentee ballot by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, October 30, 2018 (the Tuesday before the election). The ballot must be returned to the county board of elections by 5 p.m. on Friday, November 2, 2018 (the Friday before the election).

If you or someone you know is having trouble registering to vote or being allowed to vote, please contact the ACLU of Pennsylvania at 877-745-ACLU (2258) or fill out this form.

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