HARRISBURG — On November 8, Pennsylvanians will head to the polls to decide the U.S. Governor and U.S. Senate races as part of Election Day 2022.
Voters will also have an equally important opportunity to elect representatives and senators to the state General Assembly after a monumental redistricting cycle that redrew district lines; the change could upset the balance of power in the state House.
To help you prepare for Election Day 2022 in Pennsylvania, here are some of the most frequently asked questions:
When is Election Day 2022 in Pennsylvania?
Tuesday, November 8, 2022. Mark your calendars!
When do the polls open?
Polls open at 7 am and close at 8 pm As long as you are in line to vote before 8 pm, you have the right to vote.
when is the last day
register to vote?
The last day to register is October 24.
You can register online here, or submit a registration form in person or by mail to your county elections office by the same date.
Online voter registration applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm that day. Applications must be received by the county board of elections by mail and in person by 5 p.m.
how can i check
You can check your registration at https://www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/pages/voterregistrationstatus.aspx. You can search using your name, county, zip code, and date of birth, or by entering your driver’s license number or PennDOT ID card.
How to change party
To change your party affiliation, fill out the same voter registration form you used to register the first time.
When filling out the form, check the box that says “party change” If you register less than 15 days before the election, the change will not take place until the next election cycle.
Can independents still vote on November 8?
Absolutely! Unlike the Pennsylvania primary, all registered voters can vote for any candidate during the general election.
How do I find my polling place?
You can find your polling place at https://www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/Pages/PollingPlaceInfo.aspx by entering your address.
vote in person
If this is your first time voting or if this is your first time voting since you changed your address, you will need to provide proof of identification. This can include any government-issued identification, such as a US driver’s license or passport, a utility bill or bank statement that includes your name and address, or a military or student ID.
can i still apply
a ballot by mail?
You can request a ballot by mail until 5 pm on November 1, either online or by mail at https://www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/OnlineAbsenteeApplication/#/OnlineAbsenteeBegin. You will need to provide your name, date of birth, proof of identification, and signature.
How do I vote absentee?
The process for requesting an absentee ballot is similar to requesting a vote-by-mail ballot. You can apply online or download the form and submit it to your county elections office. However, the application requires you to state the reason for your absence, unlike a mail-in ballot. You can find the app here.
The deadline to apply is
17:00 November 1.
If you miss the November 1 deadline, you can still request an emergency absentee ballot from your county elections office if you experience an unexpected illness, disability, or last-minute absence. You can request one at https://www.vote.pa.gov/Voting-in-PA/Pages/Mail-and-Absentee-Ballot.aspx#emergency
I applied for but have not received my absentee or mail-in ballot
You can check the status of your absentee or mail ballot at https://www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/Pages/BallotTracking.aspx. If you are concerned that your ballot will not arrive in time to return it, you can call your county elections office for advice on how to proceed.
You can also go to your county elections office to request a ballot and fill it out on the spot or go to your polling place and vote in person on Election Day with a provisional ballot.
Returning Absentee or Mail-In Ballots
First, make sure you have filled it out completely and followed all the instructions. Otherwise, your ballot may be discarded.
Anyone can return their ballot by mail or drop it off at their county elections office. Some counties also have drop boxes available.
Your ballot must be received by your county elections office by 5:00 pm on Election Day. If you have a disability that prevents you from returning your own ballot, you may complete a form to designate someone else to return it for you. You must submit the form with your mail-in ballot application, and the designated person should have a copy on hand when you return your ballot.
Otherwise, you must return your own ballot.
Pennsylvania hosts two of the most high-profile races this year: one for a vacant seat in the US Senate and the other for the office of Governor.
Democratic Governor Tom Wolf is term-limited and cannot seek re-election. He has often served as a foil for the Republican Legislature during his tenure.
With the governor’s office on the line, the Republican Party has an opportunity to control two branches of government and enact legislation that Wolf blocked.
The two leading candidates for governor in the general election offer starkly different views for Pennsylvania’s future.
State Senator Doug Mastriano from Franklin County, the Republican nominee, was elected to the General Assembly in 2019.
As a rookie senator, he quickly rose to fame in the months after the first cases of COVID-19 were reported in Pennsylvania. He became one of the most vocal critics of Wolf’s use of executive powers to impose mitigation measures, such as statewide mask orders and business closures. Mastriano also sharply criticized a waiver program for businesses to stay open, a program later deemed inconsistent and unfair by the state’s top auditor.
Mastriano also became the legislature’s leading defender of former President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud.
The Democratic nominee, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, was previously a state representative and Montgomery County commissioner.
He has touted his record as attorney general, highlighting his investigation into the role of pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors in the nation’s opioid crisis, and his office’s prosecution of some natural gas companies. Shapiro’s office made international headlines for a scathing grand jury report on child sexual abuse and its cover-up in nearly every Roman Catholic diocese in Pennsylvania.
The other high-profile race, for one of Pennsylvania’s US Senate seats, also has no incumbent, as Republican Pat Toomey retires.
The Democratic candidate, Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, previously served as mayor of Braddock, a small town near Pittsburgh. Fetterman is a longtime supporter of recreational cannabis legalization, universal health care, and clean energy. He suffered a stroke shortly before elementary school.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, the Republican candidate, has no traditional political experience, but is famous for hosting a TV show about medicine and health.
Oz has called himself a “conservative outsider”. He has said he would oppose gun control policies like red flag laws and universal background checks, and wants to focus on Pennsylvania. “energy independence” by deregulating the fossil fuel industry to increase domestic energy production.
what else will it be
on my ticket?
Some voters will choose their state senator, and all voters will choose their representatives in the US House of Representatives and Pennsylvania. These district lines were redrawn during this year’s redistricting process.
There are no statewide constitutional amendments on this year’s ballot.