How to vote in the Pennsylvania primary on May 17

The next election in Philadelphia is the PA primary on May 17, 2022. Are you ready to vote?

We’ve put together this handy guide to how to vote so you can walk into the voting booth (or fill out an absentee ballot) with confidence for who and what you’re voting for this election season.

Keep reading to find simple tips on how to register to vote in Pennsylvania, how to check your registration status, how to register for mail-in ballots, and how to find your polling place and electoral district.

An informed voter is the best kind of voter (although all voters are good enough), so we hope you find this helpful in the successful pursuit of your number 1 civic duty.

Everything is ready ? Scroll down for all the information you’ll need to vote in Philadelphia in the upcoming election, or skip to the next step to find out how:


How to register to vote in Pennsylvania

picture by Fibonacci Blue / Flickr

You can vote in the May 17 primary if you have been a citizen of the United States for at least one month before May 17, a resident of Philadelphia and your electoral district for at least 30 days before May 17, and at least 18 years old. no later than May 17.

Keep this date in mind: May 2 is the last day to register if you want to vote in the primary on May 17.

Check all these boxes? ? There are several ways to register to vote in the PA:

REGISTER THE FAST LANE, ONLINE 🧑‍💻

Click on this link to complete the voter registration application. Fill it in from top to bottom, verify that you are not a robot and press send.

When your application is submitted, you will receive an application tracking number in your email. You can use it to track the status of your voter registration application via this form.

Once you have successfully registered, you will receive a voter card by mail indicating the address of your polling station. This should take around 14 days.

REGISTER FACE-TO-FACE AT A VOTER REGISTRATION CAMPAIGN 🙋‍♀️

A group of students wearing masks hold a table where they register people, especially classmates, to vote.
Local youth help register new voters | Photo by Angie Hinton / When We All Vote

As elections approach, you can find local organizations that hold voter registration drives near busy areas of the city, such as grocery stores and public parks. These people will have all the tools at their fingertips to help you through the registration process. Remember to have a valid PA ID ready.

SIGN UP FOR OLD, BY MAIL SNAIL 🐌

Download and print this application, then fill it out, sign it, and mail it to your county electoral board, which you will find here. Applications must be received 15 days before the primary if you want to vote in this election, so make sure yours is received by May 2.

In Philadelphia, this address is:
The Philadelphia County Board of Elections
520 N. Columbus Blvd., 5th Floor
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19123

No printer? Voter registration applications are also available at the U.S. Post Office, Philadelphia public libraries, and, funnily enough, at state liquor stores.

HOW TO CHECK YOUR VOTER REGISTRATION STATUS IN PA

The entrance to a polling place comes alive on Election Day in Philadelphia as voters rush to cast their ballots.

Want to check you’re registered to vote in PA? The process is simple. Go to This site and enter one of three criteria: your name, driver’s license number, or PennDOT ID. So !

HOW TO CHANGE YOUR PA VOTER REGISTRATION INFORMATION

Has your address or name changed since the last election? You can update your voter registration information by completing a new voter registration application. If you do in line, click on “Name change” or “Address change” on question #3 to be sent in the right direction. Question 10 on the printed form also gives you the option to enter a new name and/or address.

HOW TO CHANGE PARTIES ON YOUR PA VOTER REGISTRATION

If you decide to change your party to Democrat, Republican, Green, Independent, etc. You can do this by completing a new voter registration application. If you do in line, click on “Change game” to question n° 3. Question n° 3 on the printed form also gives you the option to enter a new group.


How to vote by mail in Pennsylvania

A person drops their absentee ballot into a drop box before Election Day 2020.
picture by Cindy Shebley/Flickr

In Pennsylvania, you can start voting 50 days before election day by mail-in ballot, mail-in ballot or at a satellite election office (locations to be determined). This means you can start voting on March 28, 2022, or as soon as it arrives in your mailbox.

HOW TO REQUEST A MAIL-IN BALLOT IN PA

Mail-in ballots have become the way to vote for most people during Covid-19, and while we see light at the end of the tunnel, the practice has remained for some voters who want their vote counted early.

If you want request a postal vote, you must do this by 5 p.m. on May 10, 2022. You can apply in different ways.

  1. Request a postal ballot online with a valid PA driver’s license or photo ID from (PennDOT).
  2. Request a postal vote by mail and send it to your departmental electoral office.
  3. You can also apply in person at your county elections office.

If your application is successful, you will receive a mail-in ballot with instructions from your county election office.

If you signed up to be on the annual list of electors by mail, you should receive a renewal request as early as mid-February. (You must renew your application annually.)

This page answers any other questions you may have about mail-in voting in PA.

HOW TO REQUEST AN ABSENT BALLOT IN PA

You can request an absentee ballot in PA if you are absent on Election Day or have an illness or disability that prevents you from going to the polls.

If you want request a postal vote, You have to do it at 5 p.m. on May 10, 2022 to be counted in the primary. You can apply in different ways.

    1. Request a postal ballot online with a valid PA driver’s license or photo ID from (PennDOT).
    2. Requesting an absentee ballot by mail and send it to your departmental electoral office.
    3. You can also apply in person at your county elections office.

HOW TO RETURN YOUR BALLOTS BY MAIL IN PHILLY

Voters line up outside a satellite election office in South Philadelphia
Voters line up outside a satellite election office at the High School For Creative & Performing Arts in South Philly | Photo by Josh Middleton

The State of Pennsylvania offers you several options for returning mail-in ballots:

  1. By email. Simply drop it in your mailbox or deliver it to your neighborhood postman.
  2. In person. Bring it to your local County Board of Elections (which you can find here). These locations are generally open during normal business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. In Philadelphia, the office is located in Room 142 of City Hall. You can call (215) 686-3469 for more information.
  3. Drop boxes. You can drop off your postal ballot at more than a dozen drop boxes located around Philadelphia (locations to be determined). They are accessible 24 hours a day and constantly monitored by security cameras.

What to expect on election day

Philadelphia voters line up outside a satellite election office in South Philadelphia
Photo by Josh Middleton

WHEN ARE SURVEYS OPEN IN PHILADELPHIA?

If you vote in person on election day, the polls will be open on May 17, 2022, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.. Remember that you can get in line to vote before 7 a.m. and you can vote as long as you were online before 8 p.m., even if you don’t enter the voting booth until later.

HOW TO FIND YOUR POLLING PLACE IN PHILLY

Poll workers man a table at the Charles Santore Library in Philadelphia
Poll workers man a table at the Charles Santore Library in Philadelphia | Photo by Katherine Rapin

Polling locations are subject to change, so make sure you know where to go if you plan to vote in person on May 17. The process is simple. just go here, and enter your county, city, street name, house number, and zip code. So !

HOW TO FIND YOUR VOTING DISTRICT IN PHILLY

Not sure which district you belong to? It’s confusing, we get it. Luckily, there’s an easy way to find out. just go here and either search by your address or by your county and municipality.

WHO APPLIES FOR OFFICE OF PRIMARY PA?

There are a number of big state offices on the ballot this primary season. You will decide which candidates run for the United States Senate and House, the Governor, and the States Senate and House. Stay tuned for the Citizen Voter’s Guide for more details.

WANT TO BECOME A SURVEY AGENT?

Four poll workers hold an information table at a polling place in Philadelphia
Photo by Amanda Feifer

You rock. One of the best things you can do to make the Philadelphia election go smoothly is become a poll worker. To do this, you must complete and send this poll worker interest form. After that, someone from your County Board of Elections office will contact you with an assignment – and yes, it’s a paid position.

Good luck with the vote, Pennsylvania!


Header photo by Phil Roeder/Flickr


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