Getting and completing a voter registration application in Pennsylvania is free and easy, and would not significantly change regardless of whether the Legislature approves online voter registration, which as the Observer-Reporter’s Wednesday editorial notes, is now being debated.
I want to make sure all Pennsylvanians understand how to register to vote.
The voter registration process itself would not change should online registration be approved in Pennsylvania. To register, a resident must complete a voter registration application, including your name, Pennsylvania driver’s license or Social Security number, address, and date of birth. You must affirm you are a United States citizen, and have been a resident of the district in which you are registering for 30 days prior to the next election.
Any citizen can now download an application online by going to www.votespa.com, and clicking on “Register to Vote.” The application must be filled out and mailed to your county election office. If online registration were approved, a citizen would fill out this exact same application online, and send that application online to the county election office.
County election workers verify your information before entering your name on the voter rolls. This happens now, and it would happen with online registration. Only then would your registration information be sent to Harrisburg and entered in the statewide voter database. In Pennsylvania, all voters register to vote with their county, not the commonwealth.
As noted in your editorial, voter registration applications are available at PennDOT offices, county election offices and many other places, such as offices of state legislators, political parties, state human service agency offices and other public places, as well as at votespa.com.
Registering to vote is free and easy in Pennsylvania. I encourage all U.S. citizens who will be at least 18 by primary election day, May 21, to complete an application and get it to your county voter office, or postmarked, by the registration deadline next Monday.
Aichele is Pennsylvania’s secretary of the commonwealth.