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Help me make sure my vote counts!
October 9, 2008 4:46 PM   Subscribe

I just found out that I am listed as an "active" registered voter in two Pennsylvania counties -- may I vote in either one of those counties in November?

I'm living in Allegheny County (while in school), where I am a registered voter. I voted in the most recent primaries.

When I renewed my driver's license a few months back, though, I was offered the opportunity to update my registration. I took that opportunity (to change my party affiliation), not thinking at the time that my new registration would bear my permanent Westmoreland County address.

Consequently, I am registered in both counties. Could anything go wrong if I choose to vote in Allegheny County?
posted by cac to Law & Government (6 answers total)
 
Doubtful that anything could go wrong - if for no other reason then that things fall through the cracks - but why not call your local league of women voters ask either for the best course of action or help finding someone who can advise you? The local office of your candidate may also be able to advise you.

Changing a party affiliation outside of set time frames can get you in trouble in some states. Doesn't look like it can in PA, but you should check with someone, anyway.

Check all this without giving your name, at least initially.

Get info at a state level, and then confirm at county.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 5:00 PM on October 9, 2008


Vote411.org can help get you started.

I got this from their basic search:

State Contact Information
Department of State
210 N. Office Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120

Phone: 717-787-5280
Fax: 717-787-2854
Email: RA-BCEL@state.pa.us
Web: http://www.votespa.com/
posted by lysdexic at 5:37 PM on October 9, 2008


you should vote in your county of residence....as long as you don't try to vote more than one time I don't think you have broken any laws......get it fixed asap & your party afilition doesn't matter in the general election.....in florida anyway
posted by patnok at 5:46 PM on October 9, 2008


Vote only in the proper county, the one where you live. Ignore the other registration.
posted by meta_eli at 6:44 PM on October 9, 2008


Go to VotePoke and find out where you are registered. There is a chance that when you registered at your parents' address, that cancelled out your old registration (states are required to at least try to remove such duplicate registrations, though implementation is spotty and complicated). Put both addresses in, and see if you really are registered in both places. You can double-check by calling the phone number provided by lysdexic.

If you are, you have the right to vote in whichever community you feel is your primary residence. Since you probably spend more time at school, that's what makes the most sense.
posted by lunasol at 7:50 PM on October 9, 2008


Go vote where you live. If your updated party registration is at your parents' address, you will be updated to be on the rolls there. The most recent registration is (usually) the one that trumps all others. Don't be surprised if you show up at your local polling place and you are not on their rolls as an active voter. This has happened many times and I've seen it a lot as a former pollworker.

If you are not on the active rolls at your local polling place (at college, where you voted in the primary) you will be instructed to fill out what is called a provisional ballot. Tell them the other address where you may be registered and they will give you a special ballot. You will vote the same way as all other voters, in the voting booth, but the ballot itself will be subject to verification of your voting status in the location in which you are currently registered to vote. Your vote will still be counted, it just has to be compared with the list of registered voters in the other jurisdiction.

Then go update your voter registration again, with your current address. Your local board of elections should be listed here, by county.
posted by bedhead at 9:33 PM on October 9, 2008


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