All Registered Voters, Regardless of Party Affiliation, Can Vote on Four Questions on Primary Ballot

electionImage by Mohamed Hassan

HARRISBURG, PA — Acting Secretary of State Veronica W. Degraffenreid announced that four ballot questions, including three proposed constitutional amendments, will be on the May 18 municipal primary ballot. 

“Pennsylvania’s primaries are usually limited to Democratic and Republican voters, who are choosing their parties’ nominees,” Secretary Degraffenreid said. “But this year’s primary ballot will include four important ballot questions. That means every registered voter can vote on those ballot questions in this primary, even if they are registered with a third party or no party at all.”

Two of the proposed constitutional amendments deal with disaster emergency declarations and the third relates to a prohibition against denial of equality of rights based on race or ethnicity. The fourth ballot question is a referendum on making municipal fire departments or companies with paid personnel and emergency medical services companies eligible for an existing state loan program.

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Additionally, there will be special elections in two state Senate districts and two state House districts and all registered voters in those districts will be able to vote for their new state senator or House representative.

Secretary Degraffenreid also reminded Pennsylvanians that the deadline to register to vote in the May 18 primary is May 3. Pennsylvanians can register to vote and check their registration status online. Or they can download and print a registration form and mail it to their county election board. Applicants using the online voter registration system must complete and submit their application by 11:59 p.m. on May 3 to vote in the primary. Traditional paper voter registration forms must be received in county voter registration offices by close of on May 3.

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Individuals wishing to register to vote in the May 18 primary must be:

  • A citizen of the United States for at least one month before the primary
  • A resident of Pennsylvania and of the election district in which the individual plans to register and vote for at least 30 days before the primary
  • At least 18 years of age on or before the date of the primary

The deadline to apply for a mail ballot also is approaching. Voters have until 5 p.m. on May 11 to apply for a mail ballot through their county election board, and voted mail ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on May 18, Election Day. Nearly 660,000 Pennsylvanians already have applied for a mail-in ballot and nearly 30,000 Pennsylvanians have applied for an absentee ballot.

Voters also can vote early in person by mail ballot at their county election office, once their county’s ballots are available, until 5 p.m. on May 11. They can request a mail ballot, fill it out and return it on the spot.

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For more information on voting and elections, call the Department of State’s toll-free hotline at 1-877-VOTESPA (1-877-868-3772) or visit votesPA.com.

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