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Here's How To Register To Vote Before Tuesday's Deadline

Tuesday, Oct. 11 is the final date to register to vote in Pennsylvania. Over the course of 2016, more than 40,000 Allegheny County residents have submitted their registration applications online since the state launched the system a little over a year ago.

In September, Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration announced a mobile portal through which users could begin the registration process by sending a text message. Eligible individuals can text “PA” to the service, 2Vote, or, 286-83, which will link them to the statewide registration web page.

The initiative is one of a handful of educational programs aimed at helping ease the process of voter registration in the commonwealth. In the summer, the PA State Department unveiled their “Everyone VotesPA” program, which provides both English and Spanish guides to voter registration and Election Day.

This year, Facebook and other social media platforms promoted online registration to their users beginning Sept. 23. According to data from the Center for Election Innovation and Research, online registration activity more than quadrupled from the previous day.  

Pennsylvania’s online registration site is available in both Spanish and English, with accompanying video instructions. On Sept. 17, the state’s online voter registration site had accumulated 500,000 applicants.

Registration is also available in person at the Allegheny County Elections Division downtown, PennDOT license centers, Armed Forces Recruitment Centers, Aging and Independent Living Agencies and centers for disability services.  To register by mail, eligible individuals can print out the application and send it to their local elections division.

Individuals who have completed their incarceration term for a felony or misdemeanor, who are on probation or released on parole or house arrest and pretrial detainees are eligible to register. Those who are incarcerated for a felony conviction or ion re-release status and will not be released before the election and anyone convicted of violating the Pennsylvania Election Code within the last four years are not eligible to register.

College students in Pennsylvania can vote absentee or register to their campus or off-campus address and subsequent polling location. All registration applications must be postmarked no later than Oct. 11. The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is Nov. 1.

Credit U.S. Census Bureau
U.S. Census Bureau

Katie Blackley is a digital editor/producer for 90.5 WESA, where she writes, edits and generates both web and on-air content for features and daily broadcast. She's the producer and host of our Good Question! series and podcast. She also covers history and the LGBTQ community. kblackley@wesa.fm