Last updated on March 30, 2020

You must provide your PA driver's license number or the last four digits of your Social Security number on your absentee ballot form. If you don't have either number, you'll need to include a photocopy of your ID. Check our Voter ID Laws page for a list of acceptable forms of ID.

Pennsylvania absentee ballot deadlines

  • In Person: 7 days before Election Day.
  • By Mail: 7 days before Election Day.
  • Online: 7 days before Election Day.
  • Voted ballots are due: Received by 8pm on Election Day.

Pennsylvania absentee ballot rules

Pennsylvania voters have different options to vote by mail including absentee and mail-in ballot. For a detailed description of the rules for each, please view Pennsylvania’s page on absentee ballots.

You may vote by absentee ballot in Pennsylvania if:

  • you are in the military service of the United States (military voters do not need to be registered to vote to vote by absentee ballot, and they do not need to be overseas or even outside of Pennsylvania)
  • you are a spouse or dependent of someone in the military, and you expect on Election Day to be absent from the Commonwealth or the municipality of residence during the entire period in which the polling places are open for voting (7:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M).
  • you are a member of the Merchant Marine (or a spouse or dependent) and you expect on Election Day to be absent from the Commonwealth or the municipality of residence during the entire period in which the polling places are open for voting (7:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M).
  • you are a member of a religious or welfare group attached to and serving with the armed forces (or a spouse or dependent) and you expect on Election Day to be absent from the Commonwealth or the municipality of residence during the entire period in which the polling places are open for voting (7:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M).
  • you expect that your occupation or duties (including leaves of absence for teaching, vacations, and sabbatical leaves) will cause you to be away from your municipality on Election Day.  This also applies to spouses and dependents.
  • you are a war veteran who is bedridden or hospitalized due to illness or physical disability and therefore unable to vote in person (note: people who fall in this group can vote by absentee ballot even if they are not already registered).
  • you are ill or physically disabled and therefore unable to go to a polling place or operate a voting machine.
  • you are employed by the Commonwealth or the Federal Government and your duties require you to be absent from the Commonwealth or the municipality of your residence on Election Day. This also applies to spouses and dependents.
  • you are employed by the county and you expect that your Election Day duties will prevent you from voting.
  • you will be observing a religious holiday and will be unable to vote.

Pennsylvania absentee ballot directions

  1. Use our Absentee Ballot Tool to prepare your application.
  2. Sign and date the form. This is very important!
  3. Return your completed application to your Local Election Office as soon as possible. We'll provide the mailing address for you.
  4. All Local Election Offices will accept mailed or hand-delivered forms. If it's close to the deadline, call and see if your Local Election Office will let you fax or email the application.
  5. Make sure your application is received by the deadline. Your application must actually arrive by this time -- simply being postmarked by the deadline is insufficient.
  6. Please contact your Local Election Office if you have any further questions about the exact process.

Once you receive your ballot...

  1. Once you receive the ballot, carefully read and follow the instructions.
  2. Sign and date where indicated.
  3. Mail your voted ballot back to the address indicated on the return envelope.
  4. Your voted ballot must arrive by the deadline or it will not be counted.