Primary elections in Pennsylvania in 2021 are on Tuesday, May 18th. COVID-19 makes this election unique and there a number of new regulations voters should watch out for. Below we provide answers to these questions.
First things first. Who are we voting for on May 18, 2021? What are the primaries?
We are voting for a number of critical races in 2021. As the great folks at Committee of Seventy summarize, registered Democrats and Republicans will be casting votes for the following statewide and local offices (for other counties, please check your county website or wait for the digital voter guide linked above to be active):
- Nominees for vacancies on the Supreme, Superior and Commonwealth courts.
- Three statewide ballot questions with proposed changes to the Pennsylvania Constitution.
- Local races in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Lancaster, Allegheny, Lehigh, and Philadelphia counties including District Attorneys and School Board members.
What is the deadline to register to vote in the election?
The deadline is May 3, 2021. You need to be:
- a citizen for at least 30 days before the election,
- 18 years old on/before May 18, 2021, and
- a resident of Pennsylvania for 30 days to be eligible to register.
Register in a few minutes at https://pa.cair.com/activism/register-to-vote/.
Who is ineligible to vote?
- People who are in prison because of a felony conviction and who won’t be released before the election.
- People who have been convicted of violating Pennsylvania election laws within the past four years.
- People who are not citizens of the United States of America.
- People under the age of 18 on the day of the election.
Not sure if you are registered to vote or at which address?
No problem. You can check your status at PA Voter Services.
How can I learn who are the people running in my area? Who should I vote for?
CAIR-Philadelphia is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and does not endorse/support candidates. You can find the candidates and examine their platforms via Committee of Seventy’s ballot guide by entering your ZIP code in their digital tool.
I am not sure how best to complete the mail-in-ballot. Can you help?
Applying for a mail-in-ballot is very easy. Apply online, receive your ballot, complete it and return immediately. Start at VotesPA Now.
- The deadline to request a mail-in or absentee ballot before the Municipal Primary Election is May 11, 2021.
- We recommend that you request your mail-in ballot by April 24th to get it in a timely manner.
- The deadline to return your ballot for the primary election is May 18th, by 8 p.m.
- We recommend you return your ballot no later than May 12th, to ensure it arrives in your county board of elections in time to be counted.
Can I vote in person on Tuesday, May 18?
Yes. But be mindful that there will be fewer number of polling stations compared to 2020 elections and likely long lines. Be sure to social distance as well. Learn more about your polling station at PA Voter Services.
If I need help, where can I turn?
Report discrimination or problems during voting: pa.cair.com/report/
For further questions, email: email@example.com
Contact: 1-877-VOTESPA (1-877-868-3772) for specific questions and language assistance.