Next month, Philadelphians will choose nominees for mayor, City Council, and other offices. Suburbanites’ choices include candidates for district attorney and county commissioners. But if you want to have your say, you first need to register.
U.S. citizens who are Pennsylvania residents and 18 or older by Election Day are eligible to vote in the May 21 primary. If you’re newly eligible to vote, or new to Pennsylvania, or have changed your address, you should register or update your registration.
If nothing has changed, you should still check your status — things happen, and you may want to double-check.
Register to vote online: Use this online form to submit a new application or update an existing application, such as changing your address or party registration. It takes only a few minutes. (We tested it.)
Check your application status: Once you’ve submitted an application, check on it here.
Check on an existing voter registration: If you’re already registered, check your information here.
Remember, Pennsylvania has a closed primary system: To vote for the Democratic or Republican candidates who will run in November, you’ll need to be registered with one of those two parties.
Unaffiliated and third-party voters will still be able to vote in many cases: There are special elections that all voters can participate in, and all 1.05 million registered voters in Philly can vote on four ballot questions.
Oh, and don’t forget: If you’re planning on voting absentee, don’t put it off. You’ll need to mail in an absentee ballot application, have a ballot sent to you, and send in your vote. Learn more here. If you wait until the end, you could get caught up in Pennsylvania’s tight deadlines; last year, thousands of would-be voters had their absentee ballots rejected because they arrived too late.