In Pennsylvania, voters’ rights are protected by both federal and state law. Read on to learn more about the state of voting rights in PA.
In PA, it is illegal for the state or any local government to deny anyone the right to vote based on their country of origin, gender, race, ethnicity, or membership in a language minority. The only way you can be deprived of your voting right is if a poll worker or observer says you aren’t who you claim to be or you do not live in the precinct.
Voting laws in PA protect people in language minority groups from discrimination, establish rights for people who are in jail or who have been convicted of a crime, and guarantee that people with a disability or the elderly can vote independently and privately. Pennsylvania makes voter registration forms available in Spanish, traditional or simplified Chinese, and Vietnamese.
Under federal law, governments have to provide election services and information in a foreign language when there are a certain minimum number of people of voting age who speak that language in the county. If your English skills are poor or insufficient, you’re allowed to bring another person into the voting booth to help you.
If you are in jail or have a misdemeanor or felony conviction, are under house arrest or on probation, there is special information about voting and registration available.
Under state and federal law, each polling place must be accessible to disabled persons. You may choose someone to go in the booth with you and help you if you cannot enter it or are unable to use the voting system because of a disability.
The US government has strengthened voting rights and enhanced protections against unfair voting practices throughout history, and PA is no exception.