Election Day in Pennsylvania in 2022 is November 8. Here is a brief overview of what you need to know before you vote.
Kate Huangpu/Spotlight PA
PA projector is an independent, nonpartisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and WITF Public Media.
On Nov. 8, Pennsylvanians will head to polls to decide the race for governor and the race for the U.S. Senate as part of Election Day 2022.
Voters will also have the 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 alter the balance of power in the State House.
To help you prepare for Election Day 2022 in Pennsylvania, we’ve answered some of your most frequently asked questions below:
When is Election Day 2022 in Pennsylvania?
Tuesday, November 8, 2022. Mark your calendars!
When do polls open for the 2022 election in Pennsylvania?
Polling stations open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. As long as you are in line to vote before 8 p.m., you are eligible to vote.
What is the last day to 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 election office by the same date.
Online voter registration applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. that day. Mail and in-person nominations must be received by the County Board of Elections by 5 p.m.
How can I verify my registration?
You can check your registration here. You can search using your name, county, zip code, and date of birth, or by entering your driver’s license or PennDOT ID card number.
How to change party?
To change your party affiliation, complete the same voter registration form that you used to register the first time.
When you complete the form, check the box that says “change party”. If you register less than 15 days before the election, the change will not take place until the next election cycle.
I am a registered independent. Can I still vote on November 8?
Absolutely! Unlike the Pennsylvania primaries, all registered voters can vote for any candidate in the general election.
How do I find my polling station?
You can find your polling station here by entering your address.
What else do I need to know to vote in person?
If this is your first vote or your first vote since changing your address, you will need to bring identification. This may include any government-issued identification, such as a U.S. driver’s license or passport, utility bill or bank statement showing your name and address, or military or student ID. See the full list of options.
Can I still request a postal vote?
You can request a vote by mail until 5 p.m. on November 1, online or by mail. Here is the application. You will need to provide your name, date of birth, proof of identity and your signature.
How to vote absent?
The process for requesting a mail-in ballot is similar to requesting a mail-in ballot. You can apply online or download the form and send it to your county election office. However, the application requires you to indicate a reason for your absence, unlike a postal vote. You can find the app here.
The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. on November 1.
If you miss the Nov. 1 deadline, you can still request an emergency absentee ballot from your county election office if you experience a last-minute illness, disability, or absence. You can request one here.
I applied but still haven’t received my absentee or absentee ballot. What should I do?
You can check the status of your absentee or absentee ballot here. If you’re concerned that your ballot won’t arrive with enough time to return it, you can call your county election office for advice on what to do next.
You can also go to your county election office to request a ballot and complete it there or go to your polling place and vote in person on Election Day.
I received my mail-in or mail-in ballot. How can I return it?
First, make sure you’ve filled it out completely and followed all the instructions. Otherwise, your ballot could be rejected.
Anyone can return their ballot by mail or by dropping it off at their county election office. Some counties also have drop boxes available. Find county contact information here.
Your county election office must receive your ballot by 5 p.m. on Election Day.
If you have a disability that prevents you from returning your own ballot, you can fill out a form to designate someone else to return it to you. You must submit the form with your request to vote by mail, and the designated person must have a copy with them when they return your ballot.
Otherwise, you must return your own ballot.
What races will I vote on?
Pennsylvania is hosting two of the highest-profile races this year — one for an open seat in the U.S. Senate and the other for the governor’s office.
Democratic Governor Tom Wolf has a term limit and cannot seek re-election next year. He often served as a foil to the Republican legislature during his tenure.
With the governor’s office up for grabs, the Republican Party has a chance to control two branches of government and enact legislation that was blocked by Wolf.
The two leading gubernatorial candidates in the general election offer starkly different views for Pennsylvania’s future.
State Senator Doug Mastriano of Franklin County, the Republican gubernatorial candidate, was elected to the General Assembly in 2019.
As a freshman senator, he quickly rose to prominence in the months after the first cases of COVID-19 were reported in Pennsylvania. He has become one of the most vocal critics of Wolf’s use of executive powers to impose mitigation measures such as statewide masking orders and business closures. Mastriano also strongly criticized a waiver program allowing businesses to remain open — a program that was later deemed inconsistent and unfair by the state’s top auditor.
Mastriano has also become the legislature’s leading defender of former President Donald Trump’s unfounded allegations of widespread voter fraud.
The Democratic nominee, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, previously served as state representative and commissioner for Montgomery County.
He touted his record as attorney general, pointing to his investigation into the role of pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors in the national opioid crisis and his office’s lawsuits against some natural gas companies. Shapiro’s office made international headlines for a scathing grand jury report into child sexual abuse and its cover-up in nearly every Roman Catholic diocese in Pennsylvania.
Learn more about the candidates and their positions.
The other top race, for one of Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate seats, also has no incumbent, as Republican Pat Toomey retires at the end of his term.
The Democratic candidate, Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, was previously 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 primary.
Mehmet Oz, the Republican candidate, has no traditional political experience but is famous for hosting a TV show about medicine and health as well as promoting questionable alternative medicine.
Oz called himself a “conservative outsider”. He said he would oppose gun control policies such as red flag laws and universal background checks, and wants to focus on Pennsylvania’s “energy independence” by deregulating the fossil fuel industry to increase national energy production.
What else will be on my ballot?
Some voters will choose their state senator and all voters will choose their representatives in the United States and Pennsylvania. These district lines were redrawn during this year’s redistricting process. Compare your old and new neighborhoods using Spotlight PA’s comparison tool.
There are no statewide constitutional amendments on this year’s ballot, but a few major amendments are looming – like one that would declare there is no legal right to abortion in the state constitution and another that would create judicial districts for the state court system.
Some voters may see local voting questions, including residents of Allegheny County and Philadelphia. Check with your county election office to be sure.