Info for the May 18 Primary Election

[The following information is based on an email issued May 1 to members and friends of Open Wards Philadelphia. Used with permission.]

With the May 18 primary coming up fast, please share the information below with your networks! Forward away!!!


  • Check your current status. Remember that only registered Democrats and Republicans can vote for candidates in primary elections. All voters regardless of party affiliation can vote on ballot questions.


  • Voting by mail is safe, secure and convenient, with the benefit of providing time to review and complete your ballot at home. Any registered PA voter is allowed to request a Mail-in Ballot. (Don’t bother with the Absentee!)
  • Request a Mail-in Ballot ASAP. Applications must be received by Tuesday, May 11, at 5 pm. Postmarks don’t count.  Voters who apply online must already be registered and can use either their PA driver’s license number or the last four digits of their social security number. Learn more.
  • Make sure to enter your email with your Mail-in Ballot application, and you will get updates as it is processed and as your ballot goes from your county to you and back to be counted. Check the status of your Mail-in Ballot.


Follow these steps carefully:

  1. Fill out your ballot: Read the instructions and make your selections in every race and question on the ballot, front and back. Don’t vote for more candidates than you are allowed.
  2. Pack and seal it: Put your ballot in the plain secrecy envelope that says “Official Election Ballot” and seal. Then put the secrecy envelope in the larger ballot-return envelope with “Business Reply Mail” on the front.
  3. Sign it and date it and seal it: Complete the “Voter’s Declaration” on the ballot-return envelope. Make sure to sign AND date it. Seal the ballot-return envelope. Ballots will not be counted if the Voter’s Declaration is unsigned or undated, according to a November court ruling.
  4. Return it by mail or dropbox:
    1. By mail – Do this EARLY. Ballots must be received by 8 pm on May 18 to be counted. Postmarks do not count. A grace period, available for the Presidential Election last November, no longer applies.
    2. At a dropbox – Drop off your voted ballot at one of fourteen convenient, monitored 24/7, secure dropboxes. Find a list at
    3. In person – The Board of Elections office in City Hall, Room 140 is currently open for in-person mail-ballot voting. Voters may request a mail-in ballot in-person, receive it, vote, and return it all during the same visit. Room 140 is open from 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday and on Election Day until 8pm. Voters should enter through the south gate of City Hall.


A lot! We recommend checking out the following resources: