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:
To increase the number of people who register to vote in Federal elections.
To help keep the elections process fair and honest.
To make sure that voter registration rolls are correct and up-to-date.
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:
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
Medical Assistance (MA).
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)/Food Stamps.
State Blind Pension.
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
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)
Application, including COMPASS applications.
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.
Renewal, including COMPASS renewals. Automated Renewal packets include a copy of the voter registration application.
Semiannual Reporting (SAR) review. SAR forms include a copy of the voter registration application.
When a client reports a change of address, even if the change is reported by telephone.
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
To register to vote, an applicant or recipient must be
a United States citizen for at least one month before the next election,
a resident of Pennsylvania and the voting district for at least 30 days before the next election, and
at least 18 years old on the next Election Day.
NOTE: All voters may be required to show a photo ID before voting at a polling place.
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