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Wolf signs executive order expanding access to voter registration information


With the deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 8 general election, Gov. Tom Wolf on Wednesday signed a decree expand access to voter registration information.

The order designates seven state agencies and programs as “voter registration distribution agencies,” which will be required to provide voter registration materials and information to state residents.

They are:

  • The Department of State (DOS) in the public offices of Elections, Bureau of Business and Professional Affairs, and Bureau of Societies and Charities
  • The Ministry of Agriculture at events at the Farm Show Complex
  • The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources in 121 state park offices
  • The Department of Corrections in relation to the services of the Office of Community Corrections
  • The Ministry of Education in Libraries
  • Labor and Industry Programs at CareerLink Offices
  • The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs at state veterans homes

“We are proud of the free and fair elections held here in the Commonwealth, and this would not be possible without first providing convenient and accessible opportunities for every eligible citizen to register to vote,” Wolf said in a statement issued Wednesday by his office. “That’s why I’m designating seven additional state agencies to provide voter registration materials and information to their clients. This work will support the dedicated county officials and thousands of local election workers who do their part in every election to ensure that anyone who wishes to exercise their precious right to vote can do so.

The new order “builds on the requirements of the federal National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which stipulates that certain state agencies are required to provide the voter registration facility to clients with whom they interact”. the administration announced Wednesday.

Under the new ordinance, relevant public bodies are required to provide access to:

  • A formal voter registration mail request that is not specific to any county election office
  • An accompanying unstamped envelope and instructions explaining where the voter registration application should be sent
  • They are also required “to post nonpartisan signs or posters in highly visible areas to indicate that official voter registration materials are available on site,” the administration said.
  • The executive order further declares September as Statewide Voter Registration Month.

State law currently provides four ways to register to vote — online, by U.S. mail, in person, or at a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation photo or driver’s license center, the Capital-Star previously reported.

To register online, visit vote.pa.gov, where you will be asked to complete an application form. Before you begin, make sure you have your driver’s license or PennDOT ID card ready. You can upload a signature or print and sign the form if you don’t have one.

What you need to know to be registered and ready to vote in the November 8 elections

The Pennsylvania Voter Registration Application can be downloaded online to register by mail. Print the form, complete it, sign it and return it to your county voter registration office.

Voter registration can also be done in person at your county’s voter registration office or at certain government agencies, such as the PennDOT Photo License and Driver’s License Center.

The Voter Application can also be completed at many state government offices, including:

  • State offices that provide assistance and public services to people with disabilities
  • Armed Forces Recruiting Centers
  • Offices of the County Clerk of Orphans’ Court, including each marriage license office
  • Territorial agencies on aging
  • Independent Living Centers
  • County Mental Health Offices
  • Offices of Services for Disabled Students in the National Higher Education System
  • Special Education Offices Complementary Paratransit Offices ADA
  • Any agency using the Compass app

Once you submit your application, your local voter registration office will review and process the application.

“With 1.7 million Pennsylvanians eligible to vote but not yet registered, it will be no small task to reach these people before the November election,” the acting secretary said. Leigh M. Chapman in a statement. “I thank this administration for recognizing this by working with our state and federal partners to make this effort possible.”