Get Ready to Vote
Make a plan to vote! Your vote is your voice.
Confirm Voter Registration Status
- Check your voter registration status here - verify you are registered to vote, confirm your residential address is up to date, and check to see if you are registered with the political party of your choice
- Voting in-person? Confirm your polling place here (they frequently change)
- Voting by mail? Apply for a mail-in ballot here
- In this primary election, we’ll be voting on candidates for Mayor, City Council (District and At-Large), Judges, City Commissioners, Registrar of Wills, Sheriff, and Controller (due to resignation)
- Check out this video from our #CCPVotes Student Fellows on the topic of Voting 101: What Every Voter Should Know
- Have you voted on the new voting machines? Check out this video
- Do you know who your current legislators are?
- Do you know who's on the ballot? Find out who is running in your district this May by using the Build Your Ballot Tool
- Do you know where candidates stand on certain issues? Check out this Pennsylvania Voters Guide to learn more about the candidates and their races.
- Begin your research of the candidates running for office by checking out The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphia Tribune, The Philadelphia Citizen, PoliticsPA.com, and Philadelphia City Commissioners.
Know Your Rights
- Polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- If you are in line by 8 p.m., you must be allowed to vote
- If there is a problem finding your voter registration, you have a legal right to request a provisional ballot
- If you have questions or are experiencing problems voting, call the Election Protection Hotline and speak with a volunteer to get help, call 866-OUR-VOTE
- Check out our helpful FAQs section by scrolling to the bottom of this page
- You have the right to be heard and the power to vote during the election
- Your vote matters because you are important and so are the needs of your family and friends
- You can support solutions to the problems you see affecting your community
- You can make sure your elected officials represent you
- You can impact the direction of the entire country
If you have questions, please contact the Institute for Community Engagement and Civic Leadership at
Become a poll worker on election day
- Poll workers open voting machines at the beginning of the day, check voters into the polling place, support the functioning of the polling place, and close everything up at the end of the night
- Sign up to be a poll worker
- Did you know you can get paid to work the polls even if you're 17 years old? Fill out this form to get started
Volunteer with #CCPVotes
- We are looking for volunteers to help with our voter registration drives and advocacy events - please contact the Institute for Community Engagement and Civic Leadership at for more information
- Build your resume and gain valuable experience in community organizing, advocacy, networking, public speaking and more!
Become a #CCPVotes Student Fellow
- Join the #CCPVotes Student Leadership Team by interning with one of our community partners
- Become a Democracy Fellow with Campus Vote Project
- Become a Civic Influencer with Campus Election Engagement Project
- Intern in the City Commissioner's Office
- Other positions available!
- Please contact the Institute for Community Engagement and Civic Leadership at for more information on how to apply to each of these opportunities
Civics Education Resources
Watch, read and listen to these resources to learn more:
- View our Library Guide and find election information as well as reliable sources for researching candidates
- Check out NPR Radio's selection of podcasts to learn more about topics related to government and politics
- Watch live City Council sessions or browse old sessions here
- Listen to the Inside PHLCouncil podcast (Apple or Spotify) to learn more about Philadelphia City Council
- Watch recordings from the College's Enough is Enough Teach-in Series covering topics such as gerrymandering and redistricting, police reform, health care disparities in women of color, taking a stand against anti-Asian hate, and more
- Read "Just Pursuit: A Black Prosecutor's Fight for Fairness"
- Watch Will Smith's Netflix series "Amend"
- Listen to the Student Voting Network podcast, hosted by CCP alumnus Benjamin Nixon and former Campus Vote Project Democracy Fellow
- Do you know which political party you align with? Take this political typology quiz from Pew Research Center or check out this political quiz from ISideWith.com to learn more
Register to Vote
- Register to vote at StudentVote.org
- Not a student or live outside of PA? Get started here
Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs
Preparing to Vote
How old do I have to be to vote?
You must be at least 18 years old. If you turn 18 on or before election day you are eligible to vote in that election cycle.
Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to vote?
Yes, you must be a U.S. citizen for at least one month before the next election. You must also have lived in your voting district for at least 30 days prior to the election.
How do I register to vote in PA?
You can register to vote on the Pennsylvania Department of State’s website
I live in another state. How do I register to vote?
You may use this tool from vote.gov to access the voter registration website for your state.
Where do I go to vote in-person?
You will go to a polling place, which is determined by your residential address. You can find your polling location here. *TIP: if the name of your street is numerical (i.e. S 7th St), you must include S or N in order for the address to be found
Do I need to bring an ID to vote?
Yes, you will be asked for a government issued ID at your polling place if you are voting for the first time. If you receive a Voter ID Card in the mail, this is also an acceptable form of ID.
What if my polling location doesn’t have my registration on file or I showed up to the wrong location?
If this happens, you have a legal right to request a provisional ballot on the spot and may cast your vote that way. If the polls remain open for several hours and you have the time, you may also travel to the correct polling place and try to vote there. *see more info below about provisional ballots
What if I have questions or am experiencing problems voting?
Call the Election Protection Hotline and speak with a volunteer to get help.
Call in English: 866-OUR-VOTE; Call in Spanish: 888-VE-Y-VOTA; Call in Asian Languages: 888-API-VOTE; Call in Arabic: 844-YALLA-US
Do I need to be registered as a Republican or Democrat in order to vote?
No, you do not have to be registered with a political party in order to vote in the general election in November. You may choose to register as an independent.
*IMPORTANT* To vote in a primary election in Pennsylvania, you must be registered as a Republican or Democrat. See below for more information about primary elections in PA.
When do the polls open and close?
All polling places will be open on election day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
I recently moved, where do I vote now?
If you have moved, you will have to update your voter registration and change the residential address on file. Depending on where you moved, your district and polling place may have changed. You can update your voter registration here.
I haven't voted in a long time. Can I still vote?
Voter registrations can expire after a length of time. It is best to check your status and make sure you are still registered. You can renew and update your registration status at any time!
Check your voter registration status here.
Can I vote if I've been convicted of a felony?
Yes, in Pennsylvania you may be able to register and vote! Check out the Restore Your Vote tool to confirm if you are eligible to vote in the next election.
Mail-In Ballots & Voting Early
Can I vote by mail?
Any qualifying voter may apply for a mail-in ballot. In PA, you do not need a special reason to request a mail-in ballot. You must be registered to vote though. To request a ballot, you will need to fill out a brief application here.
What is the deadline to apply for a mail-in ballot?
The deadline to apply for a mail-in or absentee ballot for the 2023 Primary Election is 5pm on Tuesday, May 9, 2023.
How do I vote early in Pennsylvania?
You can only vote early if you have requested a mail-in ballot or absentee ballot. After you receive your ballot in the mail, cast your vote and are ready to submit it, you should mail your ballot by dropping it off in an official USPS mailbox or by hand delivering it to your county election board by November 8 (see deadline info below).
Find your county election office here.
When is the deadline to submit my mail-in or absentee ballot?
All ballots for the 2023 Primary Election must be received by 8pm on Tuesday, May 16, 2023 - no exceptions. Even if you mailed your ballot and the postmarked date is before May 16, it will not be counted if it is not received by 8pm on election day.
How often do elections happen?
Elections take place twice per year, every single year.
What is a general election?
The general election takes place in November and is open to all registered voters, regardless of if you are registered with a political party or not. During the general election, voters decide which candidate from which political party will take office.
What is a primary election?
In a primary election, voters choose which political candidates they want to run for office in the general election in November. During the primary, there is typically a long list of candidates running for each position under their political party. The candidates with the highest number of votes then go on to run in the election in November.
In PA, the primary election is held on the third Tuesday of May. During a presidential election year, the primary is held on the fourth Tuesday of April.
Do I have to be registered as a Republican or Democrat to vote in the primary election?
Yes. Pennsylvania is a closed primary state, which means you must be registered with the Democrat Party or Republican Party in order to vote. You will only be able to vote for candidates within the party you are registered for.
I am not registered with any political party (independent voter). Is there anything I can vote on in the primary election?
All voters, regardless of the political party you are registered with, can vote on:
any special election contests held at the same time as a primary election
Understanding Different Types of Ballots
What is an absentee ballot?
An absentee ballot is a specific kind of mail-in ballot. You must have a valid reason to request an absentee ballot. Valid reasons may include:
You plan to be out of town or outside your municipality on election day
You have a disability or illness that will prevent you from voting at your polling place
You are a college student living out-of-state or outside your permanent residence
You may request an absentee ballot online here.
What is a provisional ballot and when can I request one?
A provisional ballot is used to record a vote on election day when there are questions about a person’s eligibility to vote. You have a legal right to request a provisional ballot for any of the following reasons:
Your name cannot be found in the poll book or supplemental poll book (i.e. you reported to the wrong precinct or you did not report a recent change in residence to the county election office)
You are required to show an ID, but did not bring it with you
Your eligibility was challenged by an election official
You returned a completed absentee or mail-in ballot that was rejected by the county board of elections and you believe you are eligible to vote
You were issues a mail-in ballot but did not successfully vote an absentee or mail-ballot and you choose not to surrender your ballot at the polling place to be spoiled
There is a special court order with respect to your registration status
There is a special court order related to extending the hours of voting
You believe that you are registered with a political party, but your voter record indicates otherwise (this is only relevant for primary elections)
How Do I Get More Involved?
Are there paid opportunities on Election Day?
Yes, you can become a poll worker and get paid for your service. Check out this website for more information and to access the poll worker application.
How old do I have to be to become a poll worker?
If you are 17 years old, you can also become a poll worker! You will need special permission from your schools' administrators. Contact your county election office for more information.
If you are 18+ years old, you should fill out the poll worker interest form here.
Can I run for office if I am 18 years old?
Yes! You can run for election to become a committeeperson, Judge of Elections or Inspector of Elections