Pennsylvania’s general election is fast approaching. Here’s what you should know before you vote.
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- What are the deadlines I need to know?
- Can I still register to vote?
- Who can register to vote?
- Can I still apply for a mail or absentee ballot?
- Can I vote early in person?
- How can I become a poll worker?
- Where can I drop off my mail ballot?
- When must mail ballots be received?
- How will I know if my mail ballot was processed?
- What if I want to vote in person?
- Where is my polling place?
- What if I received an absentee or mail ballot but want to vote in person?
- What happens if I request a mail ballot and don’t receive it?
- Who is on the ballot?
- Voter info & resources
Below are deadlines specific to voting in the general election.
- Deadline to register to vote: Monday, Oct. 23
- Deadline to apply for a mail or absentee ballot: 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31
- Deadline to return mail or absentee ballot: 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7
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.
Yes. Those eligible may apply for a Pennsylvania mail or absentee ballot through 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31.
If you are a registered Pennsylvania voter, you may choose to vote early in person.
The last day to vote early in person is Tuesday, Oct. 31.
Those interested in becoming a poll worker may fill out the Pennsylvania poll worker interest form. A county election official will follow up with those interested post-submission.
To become a poll worker, residents must be registered to vote in the county they wish to work. Seventeen-year-old high school students interested in becoming poll workers must meet additional requirements and should contact their county election office for more information.
Government officials and employees are not allowed to serve as poll workers, with the exception of district judges, notaries public, and members of the Pennsylvania National Guard.
Poll workers typically work from before the time polls open at 7 a.m. on Election Day until after the polls close at 8 p.m.
For those who choose to vote by mail, counties will provide secure drop box locations for ballots.
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.
Voters can check the status of their mail ballots online.
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.
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.
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.
State Supreme Court
For the state’s high court, voters will decide who succeeds Justice Max Baer on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Baer died in September 2022, shifting the court from a 5-2 to a 4-2 Democratic majority.
Daniel McCaffery (D) faces Carolyn Carluccio (R) for the open seat. McCaffery, an Army veteran who was elected to Pennsylvania Superior Court in 2019, previously served as an attorney and assistant DA in Philly. Carluccio has served as a judge on the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas since 2010. Previously, she served as assistant U.S. attorney and Montgomery County’s chief public defender.
Intermediate appellate courts
On the Pennsylvania Superior Court, two judges are up for nonpartisan retention elections. Judge Vic Stabile (R), seeks a second term on the Pennsylvania Superior Court. President Judge Jack Panella (D) seeks a third.
Two Superior Court seats are also up for election to fill the vacancy created by Judge Jacqueline Shogan, who retired in 2022, and the forthcoming vacancy created by Judge John T. Bender, who will reach the mandatory retirement age of 75 in November. Vying for the seats are Republicans Maria Battista and Harry Smail and Democrats Jill Beck and Timika Lane.
Another seat is up for grabs on the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court due to the vacancy left by Judge Kevin Brobson (R), who was elected to the state Supreme Court in 2021. Republican Megan Martin faces Democrat Matt Wolf.
Philadelphia mayor, City Council, and beyond
Also on the ballot are at-large City Council seats, for which voters can choose no more than five:
- Jim Harrity (D)
- Katherine Gilmore Richardson (D)
- Isaiah Thomas (D)
- Nina Ahmad (D)
- Rue Landau (D)
- Jim Hasher (R)
- Drew Murray (R)
- Kendra Brooks (WFP)
- Nicolas O’Rourke (WFP)
On the district level, 10 City Council seats are on the ballot. Incumbents Mark Squilla (D-1), Kenyatta Johnson (D-2), Curtis Jones (D-4), Jeffery Young Jr. (D-5), Michael Driscoll (D-6), Quetcy Lozada (D-7), Cindy Bass (D-8), and Anthony Phillips (D-9) are all running unopposed.
That leaves two districts with City Council races to watch: In District 3, incumbent Jamie Gauthier (D) faces challenger Jabari Jones (West is Best). In District 10, Councilmember Brian O’Neill (R), who has held the Far Northeast council seat for 43 years, faces Democratic challenger Gary Masino.
Further down the ballot, John Sabatina Jr. (D) faces Linwood Holland (R) in the race to become Philadelphia’s register of wills; Incumbent Rochelle Bilal (D) faces Republican challenger Mark Lavelle in the sheriff’s race; and Christy Brady (D) and Aaron Bashir (R) are vying to become Philadelphia’s next city controller. City Commissioners Lisa Deeley (D), Omar Sabir (D), and Seth Bluestein (R) are all running unopposed.
Citywide judicial offices
On the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, the following candidates are running in partisan elections:
- Jessica Brown (D)
- Damaris Garcia (D)
- Chesley Lightsey (D)
- Brian McLaughlin (D)
- John Padova Jr. (D)
- Natasha Taylor-Smith (D)
- Caroline Turner (D)
- Tamika Washington (D)
- Samantha Williams (D)
- Kay Yu (D)
The following Court of Common Pleas judges are running in retention elections:
- Anne Marie B. Coyle
- Giovanni O. Campbell
- Holly J. Ford
- J. Scott O’Keefe
- Jacqueline F. Allen
- Joe Fernandes
- Joel S. Johnson
- Nina N. Wright Padilla
- Paula A. Patrick
- Ramy I. Djerassi
- Rayford A. Means
- Sierra Thomas Street
- Timika Lane
Voters will also choose two judges of the Philadelphia Municipal Court. Running are McIntyre Osborne (D), Barbara Thomson (D), and Rania Major (R).
Several Municipal Court judges are also running in retention elections:
- Brad Moss
- David Shuter
- Karen Simmons
- Marissa Brumbach
- Marvin L. Williams
- Matt Wolf
- William Meehan Jr.
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