A high school student’s guide to voter registration

Everything you need to know before hitting the polls on November 6th.


READY TO VOTE? – Election day is almost here, so make sure you’re ready! Mario Tama/Getty Images

TOWAMENCIN – Pennsylvania’s Senate, gubernatorial, and congressional candidates have been bombarding our TVs with more political ad campaigns as election season approaches. As many North Penn seniors turn 18 at the beginning of the school year, it is important to be informed on how to register to vote in the upcoming election on Tuesday, November 6, as well as what to do on election day.

Before actually voting in the elections, it is necessary that you register to vote. Requirements for voting in any Pennsylvania election are that you must turn 18 before the election in which you will be voting and be a United States citizen, as well as a resident of Pennsylvania and your election district. The deadline to register to vote on November 6th is Tuesday, October 9, four weeks before the election.

Within the next two weeks, seniors will have a chance to register to vote during Knight Time. In order to register, you must bring a photo ID, preferably your driver’s license. If you do not have your driver’s license, bring another appropriate form of ID or have your social security number memorized.

If you will not be present at school during voting registration, there are three other ways to register to vote; online, by mail, or in person. If you choose to register online, the appropriate electronic form is accessible on the PA Voter Registration website. After you fill out and submit the form, a county registration official will review your application, where they will then send you a voter registration card in the mail.

If you would like to submit your voter registration form by mail, you can download and print the English version here. Other versions of the voter registration form in Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese are all accessible here, as well as more important information on voter registration. After you have completed the form, you must mail it to the Montgomery County Voter Registration Office, located in Norristown. The address for Montgomery County Voting Services is also located on the registration form. Once your registration has been processed, you will receive a registration card in the mail.

If you prefer to register in person, you can visit the Montgomery County Voter Registration Office or a government agency, such as your local PennDOT. After you have completed the application in person, the clerk will review your application, where they will then send a voter registration card by  mail. Voter registration cards are typically mailed within 14 days of your application being processed.

Whether you submitted your application form electronically, in person, or by mail, you can check your voter registration status here.

After you have completed registering, it is important to know where you will actually be going to vote. Your designated polling place will be printed on your registration card, though the Department of State provides a Polling Place Search

After successfully registering and receiving your polling place, it is important to prepare what you are required to bring with you to vote. It is required that all first-time voters bring and show photo ID. Acceptable IDs include a drivers license, U.S. passport, student or employee ID, voter registration card, or any other federal government issued ID. If you are using a form of identification without a photo, it must have your address on it. A Voting Systems Demo is also provided to learn what to expect once you arrive at the polling place.

The process of registering to vote can seem overwhelming, as well as choosing who to vote for. It is important to vote for a candidate who you think will achieve the greatest positive influence on our society. This November, Pennsylvanians are able to a senator, the governor, and many congresspeople.

The November 2018 candidates for U.S. Senate are current Senator Bob Casey, Representative Lou Barletta, Neal Gale, and Dale Kerns. For more information on each of their agendas, click the name of each candidate to be redirected to their website.

The November 2018 candidates for Governor are current Governor Tom Wolf, Senator Scott Wagner, Paul Glover, and Ken Krawchuk.

The November 2018 candidates in Pennsylvania’s 4th district for the U.S. House of Representatives are Madeleine Dean and Dan David.   

For additional information, refer to the Montgomery County Voter Registration page, as well as the Pennsylvania Department of State.