Everything you need to know for the May 15, 2018 Primary Election in PA: Voter Registration, Candidate Info, and More
The 2018 Pennsylvania Primary Election is on Tuesday, May 15, 2018. The primary elections are for party elections to nominate candidates to compete in the general election in November. In Pennsylvania, you can only vote in a political party’s primary if you are registered as a member of that party.
2018 is a mid-term election year, meaning that it is taking place two years after the last presidential election (in 2016). Mid-term elections are significant because about one-third of all U.S. Senators (who serve six-year terms) are up for re-election and every member of the U.S. House of Representatives (who serve two-year terms) is up for re-election. There are also many important state and local elections happening in Pennsylvania and around the country.
Below you’ll find lots of resources and information to figure out what you need to know about voter registration, where and how to vote, who’s running, and what the issues are. We hope this helps you feel prepared and informed as you get ready to head to the polls in May!
- Voter Registration Deadline – Monday, April 16, 2018
- Primary Election Day – Tuesday, May 15, 2018
- General Election Day – Tuesday, November 6, 2018
- Check your voter registration status
- Register to vote or change your voter registration (use this form to update your address, change your party affiliation, etc)
Voting Info and Resources
- Find your polling place
- Find your new congressional district – In February 2018, the PA Supreme Court released a new PA congressional map after ruling that the previous map was unconstitutionally gerrymandered. The new congressional map will be used for the first time in the May 2018 Primary.
- Absentee ballots – Planning to be out of town on election day or unable to make it to your registered polling location? You are still eligible to vote through an Absentee Ballot. See this link for all the information you need to know about the requirements for an Absentee Ballot and the deadlines for requesting and submitting an absentee ballot in PA. In Pennsylvania, absentee ballots must be received by your County Board of Elections no later than 5 PM on the Tuesday before the election. For the May 15 election, ballots must be received by your County Board of Elections by 5 PM on May 8, 2018.
- If you live in Allegheny County, you can also refer to this link to get county-specific information.
- Voting: Know Your Rights
- Governor Tom Wolf’s Voting Guide
- Election Protection – Contact Election Protection for general voting and elections questions or to report a problem. Election Protection works “to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to participate in the political process.” They provide resources and support to ensure that all votes are counted and monitor irregularities in voting processes.
- Voting with a Criminal Conviction
Who’s on the ballot:
- The Incline: The Big List of Pittsburgh Candidates in 2018
- Search for your ballot using your address
- View candidates on the Democratic ballot for all U.S. and State races
- View Candidates on the Republican ballot for all U.S. and State races
Get to Know the Candidates:
- Fair Districts PA’s Candidate Guide: Know Before You Vote – Do your candidates support anti-gerrymandering legislation?
- Prepare for the Primary – May 12 – Join VEEEM (Voter Enrichment Education and Empowerment Movement) to hear from candidates, see sample ballots, and prepare to vote.
- Candidate forum on Criminal Legal System Issues – PA House of Representatives Districts 19, 20, 21, 34 – May 7 – Hear candidates’ perspectives on critical issues in the criminal justice system.
- PA Senate District 38 & Legislative District 30 Double Forum – April 19 – Join the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania for a primary candidates forum featuring Stephanie Walsh, Lindsey Williams, Kareem Kandil, Elizabeth Monroe, Jeremy Shaffer, Rudolph Vulakovich, and Jacob Pavlecic.
- PA Districts 21, 34, 38 and U.S. Congressional District 17 – City Paper and Women for the Future (WTF) of Pittsburgh Candidate Forum – April 12 – Join City Paper and WTF Pittsburgh for a Candidate Forum to get to better know the visions and policy stances of candidates in PA Districts 21, 34, 38, and U.S. Congressional District 17.
Additional Resources + Opportunities:
- YWCA Voter Empowerment & Registration (Homewood) – April 6, 7:30 AM-9:30 AM
- YWCA Voter Empowerment & Registration (Downtown) – April 9, 11:30 AM-1:30 PM
Know of any other resources we should share? Contact Katie at firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas.