Information for College Students
If you're a PA college student, you have many options to vote.
Jump to information on this page about:
Registering to Vote
To be eligible to vote in Pennsylvania, you must:
- Be a
citizen of the United States for at least one month before the next primary, special, municipal, or general election.
Be a resident of Pennsylvania and the election district in which you want to register and vote for at least 30 days before the next primary, special, municipal, or general election.
- Be at least
18 years of age on or before the day of the next primary, special, municipal, or general election.
You have a choice of which address to use to register to vote:
- You can register and vote where you live while attending college in PA or at your prior home address, provided your family or guardian still reside there.
- If you are registering where you live while attending college in PA, you can use either an on-campus or off-campus address.
- You can only be registered in one place at a time.
Whatever you choose, you have to
register to vote at least 15 days before the election.
You have the right to register and vote where you live while attending college in Pennsylvania. You can use either an on-campus or off-campus address.
Voting by mail
How to vote by mail
Request your mail-in ballot
If you have a PennDOT ID or Social Security Number,
request a mail-in ballot online.
If you don't have a PennDOT ID or Social Security Number, you can print and mail the request form to the county election office in your college's voting district, or to the county election office of the county of your prior home address if you care to vote there.
Return your mail-in ballot
When you get the ballot in the mail, mark it and send it back to your
County Election Board or other designated location.
Learn more about mail-in and absentee ballots.
Frequently asked questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about voting as a college student. Keep in mind that each situation is different. If you have a question that isn't answered here, contact the
county election office in your college's voting district.
What is the difference between an absentee ballot and a mail-in ballot?
As of 2019, all PA voters can request a mail-in ballot with no excuse required. So if you are a college student, you can request a mail-in or an absentee ballot. If you have doubts about which ballot is right for you, request a mail-in ballot.
If you are studying abroad and will be out of the country on Election Day, visit the
Federal Voting Assistance Program for information on how to vote while abroad.
What if I first moved to PA fewer than 30 days before the next election?
You will not be able to register to vote in PA for the next election.
What if I've moved within PA to a new election district fewer than 30 days before the next election?
You can go to your former polling place in person on election day and vote in your former district. You must inform the judge of elections that your address has changed before you vote. You can also vote using a mail-in ballot in your former district on a one-time basis.
What if I am registered to vote in another state, or in a different county in PA, but I have moved while attending college and want to vote in my new PA college voting district?
Under Pennsylvania law, a student may choose to register in their college residence voting district, provided that you have lived in the voting district in which you register for at least 30 days before the election.
If you have registered to vote in Pennsylvania after being registered in another state, you should notify your former jurisdiction of your intent to cancel your registration in that jurisdiction. You can find a list of ways to cancel in each jurisdiction from the Election Assistance Commission here.
If you have moved within PA and register in your college residence voting district, your existing registration will be transferred from your previous address. You will no longer be registered under your previous address.
You may only vote in one place in each election.