More News:

October 12, 2022

Pennsylvania midterm 2022: Everything you need to know to vote in November's election

A guide on when polls open and close, where to find your polling location, and how to complete a mail-in ballot

2022 Election Voting
Pennsylvania Midterms Guide Element5 Digital/Unsplash

During the 2022 Pennsylvania midterm election, voters will determine who will be governor, who will represent in the U.S. Senate, who will represent portions of Philadelphia and its suburbs in the House of Representatives, and who will fill vacancies left by recent City Council resignations.

Pennsylvania's 2022 midterm election is fast approaching, with votes being cast on Tuesday, Nov. 8. This year, voters will participate in some major races, determining who will lead the state as its 48th governor and who will fill a vacant seat in the U.S. Senate – a decision that could alter party control in Congress.

Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro will face off against Republican state Sen. Doug Mastriano in the governor's race, while Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman competes against Republican heart surgeon and former television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz to determine the next U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania.

In addition to the statewide races, voters from Philadelphia and its suburbs will elect three members to the U.S. House of Representatives, all three of which involve Democratic incumbents. For Philly residents, four recent City Council vacancies amid the impending 2023 mayoral race have resulted in a special election that will be held during the midterms. 

Here is a rundown of everything Pennsylvania voters need to know before heading to the polls this Election Day.

What is the deadline to register to vote? 

The deadline to register to vote in Pennsylvania's midterm election is Monday, Oct. 24. This includes in-person and online registration. 

How do I check if I'm registered to vote? 

All Pennsylvania residents can check the status of their voter registration using this online tool from the Department of State. Residents can search by driver's license number, state identification number, or by using their name, zip code, and date of birth. You can find your registered party affiliation, whether you have signed up for a mail or absentee ballot, and where your polling location is. 

How do I register to vote? 

Pennsylvania offers online voter registration through the Department of State, which includes details on deadlines and voting eligibility. You can also register by mail by printing a registration form and mailing it to your county elections office. Each address is included on the blank voter registration form. 

Can I vote by mail? 

Yes, Pennsylvania offers mail voting. You can request a mail ballot from now until Nov. 1. The deadline to return a completed mail-in or absentee ballot is 8 p.m. on Election Day. The paper application can be downloaded, printed, and delivered to your county elections office in order to qualify. 

Make sure to read the instructions for filling out your mail-in ballot carefully, as some mistakes can render your vote unusable. Ballots must be sealed in the inner "secrecy" envelope, which voters cannot write on. Once the mail ballot is completed, you can seal it in the outer envelope, then fill out the voter declaration and return your ballot before the deadline on Nov. 8. 

You can deliver your ballot through the mail using proper postage, deliver it in person to your county election office, or drop it off at a secure drop box. You can find a list of those here

Where is my polling place? 

There are plenty of ways to find your in-person polling location, most reliably through the Department of State. Its registration status search allows registered voters throughout Pennsylvania to find the name and address of their polling location. 

You can also sign up for a personalized voting guide through the Committee of Seventy, a nonpartisan voting rights organization based in Philadelphia. The guide includes every candidate that will appear on your ballot, as well as polling information and the ability to receive reminders by phone or email ahead of Election Day. 

Which candidates are running where I live?

There are plenty of races for Philly area residents to watch out for this November, on the federal, state, and local levels. 

The race for Pennsylvania governor is between Democrat Josh Shapiro, the state's attorney general, and Republican Doug Mastriano, a state senator representing portions of Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, and York counties. 

The race for U.S. Senate is between Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz, a heart surgeon and former television personality, and Democrat John Fetterman, the state's lieutenant governor and former mayor of Braddock, a small town in Allegheny County. 

There are three upcoming races for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, all currently held by Democratic incumbents. Democrat Brendan Boyle is running against Republican challenger Aaron Bashir to represent the state's 2nd Congressional District, which runs through all of Northeast Philly and portions of North Philly. 

Democrat Dwight Evans is running against Social Workers Party challenger Christopher Hoeppner to represent the 3rd Congressional District, which includes portions of West Philly, North Philly, and Center City. 

Democrat Mary Gay Scanlon is facing off against Republican challenger David Galluch to represent the 5th Congressional District, which runs through portions of Philadelphia, Delaware, Montgomery, and Chester counties.

There will also be a special election to fill four recent vacancies in City Council. Residents of the 7th District — which represents portions of Northeast and North Philly — can vote Democrat Quetcy Lozada, Republican James Whitehead, or Libertarian Randall Justus. Those in the 9th District — which represents Northwest Philly — can choose Democrat Anthony Phillips, Republican Roslyn Ross, or Libertarian Yusuf Jackson. 

There are also two at-large City Council seats up for election this November. All Philadelphia residents can vote to fill these seats. The candidates include Democrats Jimmy Harrity and Sharon Vaughn, Republicans Jim Hasher and Drew Murray, and Libertarians Poetica Bey and Marck Jurchak. 

Depending on where you live, you may also have the option to vote for representatives in the state legislature. You can find a sample ballot online using a tool provided by the Committee of Seventy. 

How do I vote on Election Day? 

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8. If you have voted at your polling place before, there is no need to bring identification to vote. If this is your first time voting — or your first time voting at your polling location — you must show at least one form of identification before being allowed to cast your ballot. 

Some options for identification include a driver's license or state identification card, passport, military ID, student ID, employee ID, a voter registration card issued by the county voter registration office, a firearm permit, or a copy of a utility bill or government check that includes your name and address. 

If you are unable to provide adequate ID, you will still be able to vote using a provisional ballot. A provisional ballot may be issued if election officials need more time to determine an individual's voter eligibility. 

If you request a mail-in ballot but do not receive it, you should contact your county elections office — you may be able to request a provisional ballot at your polling place on Election Day.