Pennsylvania Primary Election: May 15, 2018 – Everything You Need to Know

PUMP Author Active + Engaged Residents, Advocacy, General

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!

Key Dates:
  • Voter Registration Deadline – Monday, April 16, 2018
  • Primary Election Day – Tuesday, May 15, 2018
  • General Election Day – Tuesday, November 6, 2018
Voter Registration:
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.
  • 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:
Get to Know the Candidates:
Additional Resources + Opportunities:

Know of any other resources we should share? Contact Katie at with your ideas.