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An initiative to provide nonpartisan, independent elections journalism for southwestern Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania's 2024 primary: How do I register to vote?

A sheet of stickers reading "I voted today."
Matt Slocum
Vote stickers are seen at a satellite election office at Temple University's Liacouras Center, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, in Philadelphia.

The Pennsylvania primary is April 23, and anyone planning to cast a ballot needs to take several steps ahead of time.

Only registered Democrats and Republicans can vote in the primary and they can vote only for candidates in their party. The deadline to register to vote or change parties is April 8. Once you’ve done that, you are ready to show up at your polling and vote on April 23.

Voters can register online, by mail or at certain government agencies such as PennDOT.

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There are several options available for early voting, and these require some steps beyond registering to vote.

To vote by mail, or to receive an early ballot to drop off ahead of the election, voters need to request one when they register to vote unless they have previously asked to be left on a permanent mail-in ballot list. Then they will need to apply for a mail-ballot by April 16.

Those who apply for a mail-in ballot for the primary won’t need to apply again for the general election.

“We encourage all voters to apply before (April 16) to ensure that there’s no delays in us being able to process their ballot and for them to receive it,” said Chris Spackman, director of registration and elections in Dauphin County.

Independent voters cannot participate in the primary. They must register for the general election by Oct. 21.

Spackman said Dauphin hopes to send out primary ballots at the end of March.

You can register to vote here.

You can request an absentee or mail-in ballot here.

You can check your voter registration here.

Those voting in person can find their polling location here.