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Election 2012  

Last Updated: Feb 27, 2014 URL: Print Guide Email Alerts

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Useful To Know

  • Voting and Elections Terminology
    A short glossary of common voting and elections terminology, from the Arlington County, VA website.
  • Political Glossary
    Glossary of political terminology from Project Vote Smart.
  • Pennsylvania Election Cycles
    The big picture on how often and in which years specific federal and state elections are held in Pennsylvania, provided by The Pennsylvania Medical Political Action Committee.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 6 - Vote!

1. Who are the candidates, for what offices?
2. Can I vote?
3. How do I register to vote?
4. Where do I vote?
5. How do I see election results?

1. Who are the candidates, for what offices?

To see all of the federal and state candidates who will appear on your ballot, by office, use the League of Women Voters Find Your Own Election search.

In this November's election, Pennsylvanians can vote for the President of the United States, one of Pennsylvania’s two federal senators, and state wide executive offices such as Pennsylvania State Treasurer, excluding the governor.

Voters will also elect state senators from odd numbered legislative districts, and state House of Representatives members from all legislative districts.

Each Pennsylvania voter lives in three distinct state and federal legislative districts, one each for the state House of Representatives, state Senate, and the federal House of Representatives. The Pennsylvania General Assembly provides a tool that will find all three of your legislative districts, and also lists the current office holders.

2. Can I vote?

The answer to this question, and many more, are provided at the Pennsylvania Department of State’s VotesPA websiteThe Allegheny County Elections Division website also provides an abundance of useful information.

The basic requirements for who can vote in Pennsylvania, per the VotesPA website, are that you are:

•  “A citizen of the United States for at least one month before the next primary, special, municipal, or general election.

•  A resident of Pennsylvania and the election district in which you want to register and vote for at least 30 days before the next primary, special, municipal, or general election.

•  At least 18 years of age on or before the day of the next primary, special, municipal, or general election.”

The state places some limitations on the voting rights of felons and ex-felons.

3. How do I register to vote?

In Pennsylvania, you must register in order to vote.   Based on the information you provide about yourself through your registration form, you are added to a list maintained by the government of those allowed to vote in elections. The deadline to register is 30 days prior to an election.  This year, that makes the last day you can register Tuesday, October 9.

Voter registration forms may be downloaded from hereThere are many ways to register to vote, including – by mail; in person, at a state Department of Transportation photo driver’s license center, many other state government offices, or at a county voter registration office.  

4. Where do I vote?

Where you go to vote (known as your “polling place”) is based on where you reside.

If you can’t get to your polling place on election day, or are handicapped or over 65, there are other ways to cast your vote, with a little advanced planning.

10-2-12 UPDATE ON PA VOTER ID LAW: ID will NOT be required to vote in this year's election on Tuesday, November 6. A Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court judge has blocked the state from requiring voters to show ID for this election. Voters may be asked for ID, but they can cast their ballot without it.

Anyone whose eligibility to vote has been questioned may cast a provisional ballot. 

The type of voting machine used varies by county. The VotesPA website provides county specific voting machine demonstration videos.

5. How do I see election results?

There are many sources for this information, a few of which are listed in the "Political News" box on this page.  The Pennsylvania Department of State provides election results for federal and state races, as well as links to county government websites for county and local results.

Political News

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