980.1 General Policy

The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) of 1993 requires that eligible citizens be given the chance to register to vote, or to change their current registration information when they apply for or get public assistance.

42 USC §1973gg through 1973gg-10

25 Pa. C.S. § 1325 

The NVRA requires CAOs to provide the Head of Household, who is age 18 or older, a Voter Registration Application form under specific conditions. See Section 980.22, Income Maintenance Caseworker Responsibilities.

The NVRA has three main goals:

The Department of Human Services (DHS) offers the opportunity to register to vote to everyone who applies for benefits. This service must not affect the application or redetermination process. Any eligible person can get benefits without registering to vote. People can complete a voter registration form at the County Assistance Office (CAO) or take the form with them to complete elsewhere and return or mail it to the CAO or voter registration office.

The CAO must offer to help people with the voter registration process. If you assist an individual in completing the Voter Registration Application form (DSBE 600) enter DHS's agency code (available from your Voter Registration Site Coordinator) in box 10. Indicate on the Preference form (Voter Registration Questions form (PA 1656) that you assisted in the completion of the DSBE 600.

NOTE: Do not list your name or address, the CAO's name or address or the Department's name anywhere on the Voter Registration Application form. By law, the identity of the voter registration agency through which any voter is registered must not be disclosed to the public.

These voter registration requirements apply to the following programs:


980.11 Availability of Voter Registration Service

The CAO shall provide a Voter Registration Application (DSBE 600) to anyone who asks for it, even if that person is not applying for benefits.

The CAO should offer voter registration service at the following times:

42 U.S.C §1973gg-5(a)(2)(A)

25 Pa. C.S. § 1325(a)(1) 

NOTE: The system will automatically mail the household one Voter Registration Application form for any cash assistance, SNAP and/or MA online COMPASS application that indicates "yes" on the voter registration question or fails to complete the voter registration section.

CAOs can get voter registration information and supplies from:

Department of State
Bureau of Commission, Elections and Legislation
210 North Office Building, 401 North Street
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0500


980.12 Voter Eligibility

To register to vote, an applicant or recipient must be

NOTE: All voters may be required  to show a photo ID before voting at a polling place.

980.13 Voter Registration Offices

Some people may prefer to register to vote at the local county voter registration office. For addresses of county voter registration offices, click on “County Contacts and Web Sites” at http://www.votespa.com.


Reissued March 14, 2019, replacing July 22, 2013