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May 16th is the PA Primary Election!

 Important Deadlines for the May 16th Municipal Primary Election

If using a mail-in ballot, mail early. Postmarks Do Not Count! 

    • May 1: Last day to register to vote in the primary election, by 5pm  
    • May 9: Last day to apply for a mail-in or absentee ballot, by 5pm 
    • May 16: Election Day. Mail-in or absentee ballots must be received by 8pm 

It’s election season once again! Primary elections allow community members to choose local and statewide candidates for office and to vote for local legislation. The decisions made in primary elections impact our communities and our everyday experiences for years to come (in schools, court rooms, our homes and in local office).  

The following guide provides details on the voting process (both in-person and by mail), along with links to candidate forums and ballot questions for more context. 

For detailed information about elections, voting and more, please visit the Allegheny County website and Vote.Pa.Gov or CivicCLP’s Voting and Elections for all the latest election information. 

Voting in Pennsylvania 

 Who Is Eligible to Vote?  

    • All US citizens ages 18 or older as of Election Day 
    • PA residents for 30 days prior to Election Day 

Who/What Do We Vote for in a Primary Election? 

PA has CLOSED Primaries to Select Candidates 

During the Pennsylvania primary election, the two major parties select their candidates for the November General Election. Only registered Democrats and Republicans can vote in the Closed Primary, because they are voting for candidates that will represent their party in the larger general election.  

All voters can vote on constitutional amendments, ballot questions, and any special election contests held at the same time as a primary election.  

During a primary election, the major parties select their candidates for:  

    • Governor 
    • Lieutenant Governor 
    • US Senator 
    • US House of Representatives 
    • State Senators 
    • State Representatives 

To Vote In-Person:  

Polls are open for in-person voting from 7am – 8pm on Election Day. First-time voters, including individuals who are voting for the first-time at the polling place, will be asked to show an approved form of identification (from the Allegheny County Elections Division).  

Find your polling place at 

Don’t leave without voting. Anyone in line at 8:00 p.m. will be allowed to vote. Anyone may request a provisional ballot.  

Learn More about Voting In-Person 

To Vote Using a Mail-in or Absentee Ballot:  

Request a mail-in or absentee ballot at by the specified deadline. You can submit an online application, download a paper form, or request to have a form mailed to you. Your mail-in or absentee ballot will arrive to you by mail before Election Day.  

Mail-in and absentee ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted. Postmarks do not count. You may NOT drop off a voted ballot at the polling place. 

Learn More about Voting by Mail-in Ballot 

Where can I find information on who/what will be on the ballot?

Voter Assistance 

Allegheny County Elections Office
542 Forbes Ave., Suite 609, Pittsburgh, PA 15219; 412-350-4500 

League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh
436 Seventh Avenue, Suite 350, Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Email:, 412-261-4284 

Polling Places, Voter Rights and Poll Working 


Note: As a publicly-funded institution, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and its employees cannot express opinions, advocate—either actively or passively—for a candidate or cause or try to sway potential voters one way or the other. As a 501c3 nonprofit organization, as defined by the IRS, CLP and its employees are prohibited from engaging “in partisan activities, including but not limited to interventions in support or against any candidate for public office.” Our goal is to provide balanced, unbiased information to our community in the form of displays, programs and resources.

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