Voting Myths & Facts - Kolbe Cole for State Representative

Voting Myths & Facts

There are many myths about registering to vote. Some of these myths were designed just to suppress voters.

My mission is to help identify these myths and give you the facts. Take a few minutes to review the following myths and facts:

Myth: “If I don’t register to vote, I won’t have to serve jury duty.”

This is not true. If you have a driver's license, state ID, own property (a home, vehicle, etc.), or pay taxes, you are already on a list of eligible individuals to be summoned for jury duty. 

Myth: “I can't register to vote because I've been convicted of a crime.”

False. You can register and vote if you:

  • Are a pretrial detainee, confined in a penal institution awaiting trial on charges of a felony or a misdemeanor.
  • Were ever convicted of a misdemeanor. 
  • Got released or will get released by the date of the next election from a correctional facility or halfway house. This must be upon completion of the term of incarceration for conviction of a misdemeanor or a felony.
  • Are on probation or released on parole. This includes parolees who are living in a halfway house.
  • Are under house arrest (home confinement). If this is you, you can vote no matter your conviction status or the status of the conditions of confinement.
  • In Pennsylvania - and most states - even convicted felons can register and vote once they have served their sentences.

Myth: “If I don’t register to vote, I can't be drafted into the military.”

This is entirely false. All men are required to register with Selective Service when they turn 18. Voter registration has nothing to do with the draft.

Other Myths, Misconceptions, and Concerns:

  • "I can't vote because I do not have a permanent address."
    • False - all citizens can vote, including those who are considered to be homeless. You only need to provide:
    • a) an address where you receive mail (such as a church or shelter) or
    • b) list the place in which you stay, even if it is a park or street corner.
  • "I don't know where my polling location is."
    • No worries - you can find your polling location here. Or, if you prefer, you can vote by mail.
  • "I can't get to the polls because I don't have a car.
  • "My boss won't let me leave work to vote."
  •  "I can't vote because I won't be in town during the election."
    • No worries - you can always submit an absentee ballot if you are going to miss an election, and can also now vote by mail in Pennsylvania.
  • "I can't register to vote because I don't have a Pennsylvania State ID."
    • Yes, you can! You can use the last four of your social security number instead of an ID number. 
  • "If I register to vote at my new address, I'll have to update my car insurance."
    • You do not have to have the same address for both.
  • "I don't know how to register."
    • No worries! That's what we are here for. Just click here to fill out the form online.
  • "I wasn't registered before the primary election, so I can't vote in the general election.
    • Not true! Both have separate deadlines. You don't have to have been registered or vote in the primary election to participate in the general election.

Voting Facts and Other Info:

  • There are elections every year. Not just during Presidential elections.
  • Federal Elections occur every two years and are always on the even years. Pennsylvania's House and Senate elections coincide with these years.
  • Municipal elections occur on the odd years.
  • All elections are important. But, municipal and state elections are even more important as the legislation they present will affect you more directly. Vote local.

Ready to register? You can instantly register online here.  

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