Pennsylvania Election Law

Pennsylvania - Law Across the Pandemic

Voter Registration

Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
MethodOnline, in person, or by mail. No ChangesHB1300


Introduced comprehensive new language governing voter registration.
DeadlineFifteen (15) days before election. No ChangesNo Legislative Activity
AutomaticNoNo ChangesNo Legislative Activity
Same DayNoNo ChangesNo Legislative Activity

Absentee Ballot Application

Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
ExcuseIllness, absence, election official, and religious reasons. No excuse needed by Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision. HB25


Pg. 13

Seeks to eliminate no-excuse absentee ballots.



Requires proof of identification when requesting absentee ballot.
AutomaticBy requestNo ChangesNo Legislative Activity
DeadlineSeven (7) days before election. No ChangesNo Legislative Activity
Valid for X# of CyclesSame cycle except by request. No ChangesNo Legislative Activity

Absentee Ballot Return (other than by mail)

Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
Voter IDSignature VerificationCourt ordered signature verification be tossed out. HB1596


Pg. 103
Requires signature verification for ballot acceptance.
In PersonYesNo ChangesNo Legislative Activity
Drop BoxNot mentioned in statutes. Widely available throughout the state. No Legislative Activity
Return Deadline8:00 PM on Election DayChanged to postmark by that time. If there is no postmark, it must be accepted. No Legislative Activity

Ballot Harvesting

Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
ProhibitedNoNo changeNo legislative movement
Limited 3rd PartyAuthorized representative designated in writing. No changeNo legislative movement
Paid Political OperativesAllowedNo changeNo legislative movement

Early Voting

Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
By MailYesNo changeNo legislative movement
In PersonYesNo changeNo legislative movement

Voter Identification - Absentee Ballot

Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
Signature VerificationRequiredPennsylvania Supreme Court rules that ballots cannot be tossed out because of voter signature. HB1596


Pg. 103
Requires signature verification for ballot acceptance.
Witness StatementNo No ChangesNo Legislative Activity
Other-- HB1300
Pg. 5


Required driver's license number or social security number with absentee ballots.
Cure ProcessNo cure processNo ChangesNo Legislative Activity

Voter Identification - In Person

Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
Photo IDNot requiredNo Changes HB1300
Pg. 5 - Line 1


Required photo ID in order to vote.



Requires voters to show proof of identification before voting in person.
Other Options---
Provisional BallotsNot providedNo ChangesNo Legislative Activity

Voting Day

Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
Hours7:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Those in line at poll close are still allowed to vote. No changeNo legislative movement
Wait TimeNot mentioned in statutesNo changeNo legislative movement
ElectioneeringTen (10) feetNo changeNo legislative movement

Voter Rolls

Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
Update FrequencyAnnuallyNo changeNo legislative movement
Voter RemovalDead, movingNo changeNo legislative movement

September 27, 2021

Republicans look to bypass Wolf with latest election reform measure

After failing to earn Gov. Tom Wolf’s signature on a sweeping election law overhaul earlier this year, Republican lawmakers in Harrisburg are trying again, and hoping to cut Wolf out of the process entirely this time around.

The GOP-led House State Government Committee on Monday voted along party lines to advance a wide-ranging set of amendments to the state constitution, including measures that would constitutionally require that voters show ID at the polls and alter how Pennsylvania’s secretary of state is chosen.

Read more on City and State PA

July 6, 2021

AG Shapiro & Gov. Wolf at Odds with Majority of Voters on Ballot Integrity

Read more on Election Transparency Initiative with reference to Franklin & Marshall College Poll, June 2021

Q:  Do you favor/strongly favor requiring voters show a photo ID?

  • Republicans 95% 95%
  • Democrats 47% 47%
  • Independents 77% 77%

Q:  Do you favor/strongly favor election officials verify signatures on mail-in ballots to signatures in voter registration files?

  • Republicans 94% 94%
  • Democrats 64% 64%
  • Independents 88% 88%

June 30, 2021

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf vetoes GOP election bill that would have required voter ID, other changes

Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor vetoed a Republican-crafted elections bill Wednesday, a proposal that would have mandated voter identification in all elections and made a host of other changes to election law.

Gov. Tom Wolf said outside his Capitol offices that he considers the measure a voter suppression effort.

Read more on The Morning Call

June 25, 2021

Pennsylvania Senate Passes Constitutional Amendment to Require Voter ID For All Ballots

The Pennsylvania Senate on Wednesday passed a bill that would amend the state constitution to require that voters present identification each time they cast a ballot.

The measure, SB735, passed in a 30-20 vote, mostly along partisan lines. The proposal was backed by all Republicans and a single Democrat.

Currently, state voters are only required to present identification the first time they vote at a polling station. The measure would require some form of verification every time a ballot is cast, including when voting by mail. It also proposes amending the voting age in the Pennsylvania Constitution from 21 to 18, making it consistent the U.S. Constitution.

Read more on Epoch Times

June 23, 2021

ETI Applauds PA Voting Rights Protection Act

Washington, D.C. – Today the Election Transparency Initiative applauded the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for advancing the Voting Rights Protection Act (H.B. 1300), comprehensive election integrity and security legislation introduced by Rep. Seth Grove (R-York). Importantly, this landmark legislation would help bolster fair and transparent elections in Pennsylvania while improving voter access through some commonsense measures.

Read more on Election Transparency Initiative