The Lead

Want to vote in the Pa. primary? May 18 is your last day to register

By: - May 15, 2020 6:30 am

To cast a ballot in Pennsylvania’s June 2 primary, you must register to vote by Monday, May 18.

If you don’t know whether you are registered or not, you can check here. If you need to register, you can apply online here

If you cannot apply online, you can also apply by printing this form and mailing it to your county election office. Find your county election office here

Normally, you could also apply in-person at a county election office, but COVID-19 closures could impact that option.

About half of Pennsylvania counties are currently closed. Thirteen southwestern Pennsylvania counties are partially reopening May 15, joining 24 counties that partially reopened on May 8. 

County offices are allowed to reopen during this early stage if they follow social distancing requirements. You can find your county’s election office here and call to figure out if they remain open or not.

After successfully registering, you will receive confirmation of the application by mail. If you do not receive confirmation within 14 days of submission, contact your county voter registration office.

To register to vote, you must be 18 years of age, a U.S. citizen for at least one month, a Pennsylvania resident, and resident of the district for at least 30 days.

Pennsylvania’s primaries are closed, so you must also choose to register as a Republican or Democrat to make your voice heard on June 2.

Many officials are also encouraging voters to vote by mail during this pandemic. You can apply to vote by mail here. You have until May 26 to apply for a mail in ballot. That ballot must be returned by 8 p.m. election night.

The statewide ballot, for both parties, is relatively sleepy. Democrats will have a chance to choose between three presidential candidates — former Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, or U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii. 

Republicans, meanwhile, will choose between current President Donald Trump, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, and perennial candidate Rocky De La Fuente.

Trump has handily won every Republican state primary contest so far. On the Democratic side, Sanders announced he would suspend his campaign in April, making Biden the likely nominee. Gabbard has not won a single state so far.

The only other competitive statewide race is a six-way Democratic primary for auditor general. But your local legislative district may have a competitive primary.

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Stephen Caruso
Stephen Caruso

Stephen Caruso is a former senior reporter with Pennsylvania Capital-Star. Before working with the Capital-Star he covered Pennsylvania state government for The PLS Reporter.