Elections and Voter Registration
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Frequently Asked Questions
Snyder County > Departments > Elections and Voter Registration
 
 

 
QUESTIONS THAT ARE ASKED MOST FREQUENTLY BY VOTERS
 

Q.   HOW CAN I REGISTER TO VOTE?

A.  When you apply for a driver license, renew your driver license or change your address on your driver license, or

B.  By calling the Registration Office (570) 837-4209 and requesting a registration form, or

C.  Check with your local Post Office, Library, Municipal Office, or any Federal agency that offers assistance, or

D.  Candidate or party committee members.

 

(Note:  Registration closes thirty (30) days prior to every primary and general election.)

 

Q.   How can I find out if I am registered to vote?

A.  Call the Registration Office (570) 837-4209.

 

Q.   How do I find out information about the candidates?

A.  Listen or read what the news media has to report; more importantly, go to the candidate debates or talk to the candidates personally.  The Election Bureau will never give out information concerning candidate’s viewpoints.

 

Q.    Why can’t I vote in the primary if I am not registered as a Republican or Democrat?

A.  Pennsylvania has what is called a closed Primary, which only allows Republicans and Democrats to vote for candidates.  If there is a referendum on the ballot, all registered voters may vote for the referendum regardless of party affiliation.

 

Q.   Why should I vote, it really doesn’t mean anything?

A.  Your vote is very important.  There have been many candidates in Snyder County that have won the election by one vote.

 

Q.   In the November Election, when I vote straight party, may I also vote for a candidate of another party?

A.  Yes, you may vote straight party and also vote for a candidate of another party.  The tabulation system will count all of the straight party votes and for the office you voted for another party candidate, the system will not count the straight party vote, but will count the candidate of your choice.

 

Q.   How old do I have to be to get registered to vote?

A.  You have to be 18 years of age on or by the day of the next election.

 

Q.   How do I vote by absentee?

A.  If you will be out of your municipality during the hours the polling places are open on election day or if you have an illness or physical disability that prohibits you from going to your polling place, then you may vote by absentee.  You will need to call the Election Bureau of 570.837.4286 and request an absentee application.

 

Q.   When are the Polls open?

A.  From 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.

 

Q.   How do I change my address or political party?

A.  Through the renewal of your driver’s license; or by calling the Bureau of Elections 570.837.4286 and requesting a voter registration form/change of address.

 

Q.   How do I run for political office?

A.  You must call the Election Bureau in January of each year to see if the office you are interested in is up for election.  Judicial, County, City, Township, Borough, and School District offices are always on odd number years.  Federal, State and party offices are on even number years.

 

Q.   Why are the federal elections held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November?

A.  The Tuesday after the first Monday in November was initially established in 1845 (3 U.S.C.1) for the appointment of presidential electors in every fourth year.  2 U.S.C. 7 established this date for electing U.S. Representatives in every even numbered year in 1975.  Finally, 2 U.S.C. 1 established this date as the time for electing U.S. Senators in 1914.

 

Why early November?  For much of our history American was a predominantly agrarian society.  Lawmakers therefore took into account that November was perhaps the most convenient month for farmers and rural workers to be able to travel to the polls.  The fall harvest was over, (remembering that spring was planting time and summer was taken up with working the fields and tending the crops) but in the majority of the nation the weather was still mild enough to permit travel over unimproved roads.

 

Why Tuesday?  Since most residents of rural America had to travel a significant distance to the county seat in order to vote, Monday was not considered reasonable, as many people would need to begin travel on Sunday.  This would, of course, have conflicted with church services and Sunday worship.

 

Why the first Tuesday after the first Monday?  Lawmakers wanted to prevent Election Day from falling on the first of November for two reasons.  November 1 is All Saints Day, a holy day of obligation for Roman Catholics.  In addition, most merchants were in the habit of doing their books from the preceding month on the 1st.  Congress was apparently worried that the economic success or failure of the previous month might influence the vote of the merchants.

 

Q.   When are other elections held:

A.  The General Election is held in even-numbered years, on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November.  The Municipal Election is held in odd-numbered years, on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November.

 

The Primary Election in each even-numbered year is called the General Primary and is held on the third Tuesday of May, except in Presidential years when it is held on the fourth Tuesday of April.

 

The Primary Election in each odd-numbered year is called the Municipal Primary and is held on the third Tuesday of May.

 

Justices of the Supreme Court, Judges of Superior and Commonwealth Courts, Judges of the Court of Common Pleas, Judges of Community Courts (if established), District Justices in Magisterial Districts, Constables and all County, Municipal, School District, and Election District Officers are elected only at a Municipal Election.

 

Electors for President and Vice President of the United States, United States Senators, Representatives in Congress, the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, Auditor General, State Treasurer, Attorney General, Senators, and Representatives in the General Assembly are elected only at a General Election.

     

Q.   What is the order of succession should the President die, become incapacitated, or is otherwise unable to finish his term of office?

A.  The order of succession is as follows: Vice President, Speaker of the House, President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Defense, Attorney General, and Secretaries of the Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health, Housing, Transportation, Energy, Education, and Veterans Affairs. (President Succession Act of 1947.)

 

Q.   The basics for Pennsylvania:

A.   Poll Place Hours – 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

B.   Voter ID required -         Yes, if you are a first time voter in a new precinct

C.   Voter Signature Required to Vote – Yes

D.   Voter Signature Verified – Yes

E.   Bars Closed – yes

F.   Election Day Primary – Snyder County Courthouse open

G.   Election Day General – Snyder County Courthouse closed (except for Election Office)

H.   Schools Closed – No

I.     State Employees Off – No

J.    Private Employees Off – No

K.   Electioneering Banned within – 10 Ft.

L.    Straight Party Voting – Yes

M.   Write Ins – Both Elections