What you need to know ahead of the 2022 Pa. general election

Benjamin Graff and his son Jacob Graff drop off their mail-in ballots for the Pennsylvania primary election

Benjamin Graff, center, and his son Jacob Graff, 19, drop off their mail ballots for the Pennsylvania primary election, in Philadelphia, Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Pennsylvania’s general election is fast approaching. Here’s what you should know ahead of Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

What are the deadlines I need to know?

Below are deadlines specific to voting in the general election.

  • Deadline to register to vote: Monday, Oct. 24
  • Deadline to apply for a mail or absentee ballot: 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1
  • Deadline to return mail or absentee ballot: 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8

Can I still register to vote?

The deadline for Pennsylvanians to register to vote for the general election was Monday, Oct. 24. Pennsylvanians can find out whether they are registered to vote online.

Who can register to vote?

Anyone can register to vote, so long as they will have been a U.S. citizen for at least 30 days before the election, are a resident of Pennsylvania, and are going to be at least 18 on or before Election Day.

People who are incarcerated for felonies can’t vote under state law. People who are serving time for lesser charges or are out on probation, parole, or house arrest are eligible.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

Can I still apply for a mail or absentee ballot?

The deadline to apply for a mail or absentee ballot has passed. If you already requested a mail ballot, here’s everything you need to know about requesting, filling it out, and returning it.

Can I vote early in person?

The last day to vote early in person was Tuesday, Nov. 1.

What do I need to know about Pa.’s mail ballot rules?

Pennsylvania’s high court, a week before the general election, ordered counties to “refrain from counting” undated or misdated mail ballots. The move has the potential to invalidate thousands of ballots that would otherwise be deemed acceptable.

Here’s everything you need to know about requesting, filling out, and returning your mail ballot to ensure that your vote is counted.

Where can I drop off my mail ballot?

For those who choose to vote by mail, counties are providing secure drop box locations for ballots.

Official drop box locations for Bucks, Chesco, Delco, Montco, and Philadelphia can be found online. WHYY’s Billy Penn has a map of drop boxes in Philly.

When must mail ballots be received?

Completed mail or absentee ballots must be received by county boards of elections by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Postmarks do not count.

If there isn’t enough time to mail the ballot, a voter can drop it off in person at their county elections office or, if available, at a county drop box.

Pennsylvanians can also vote early in person by mail ballot until Tuesday, Nov. 1. Voters can opt for an all-in-one visit to their county election office, where they can apply for a mail ballot, have an election official verify their eligibility, and cast their ballots.

How will I know if my mail ballot was processed?

Voters can check the status of their mail ballots online.

What if I want to vote in person?

Pennsylvanians who would prefer to vote the old-fashioned way can do so in person on Election Day at the polls, which will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voters can find their polling places online. Billy Penn also has a map of Philadelphia polling places.

Where is my polling place?

Voters can find their polling places online. Billy Penn also has a map of Philadelphia polling places.

What if I received an absentee or mail ballot but want to vote in person?

Voters who receive absentee or mail ballots can opt to vote in person on Election Day. To do so, voters must bring their ballots and the pre-addressed outer return envelopes to be voided. After they surrender their ballots and envelopes and sign a declaration, they can vote using a regular ballot.

What happens if I request a mail ballot and don’t receive it?

Voters who request a mail ballot but don’t receive it, or don’t have it to surrender, may vote by provisional ballot at their polling places. The provisional ballots will be reviewed by the county board of elections post-Election Day to determine whether they will be counted.

Who is on the ballot?

Two massive races on the ballot include those for Pennsylvania governor and the state’s U.S. Senate seat. Both races will have enormous implications for Pennsylvanians.

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and Mehmet Oz are the respective Democratic and Republican candidates for Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race.

In the gubernatorial race, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, faces Republican state Sen. Doug Mastriano.

What else is on the ballot?

Voters will also choose representatives across Pennsylvania’s 17 U.S. House districts. That includes re-election races for every congressional member who represents Southeastern Pennsylvania’s seven U.S. House districts.

Half of the seats in Pennsylvania’s state Senate are up, as are all seats in Pennsylvania’s state House.

In Philadelphia’s 7th and 9th districts, special elections will be held to replace City Councilmembers Maria Quiñones Sanchez and Cherelle Parker, who resigned their seats to run for mayor. Philly will also hold special elections for two at-large council seats vacated by Alan Domb and Derek Green. The winners of those four races will serve out the remaining council terms through next year.

Voters across the state will have the chance to weigh in on various ballot measures. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect by location:

Voter info & resources

Your go-to election coverage

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal