Register now to vote in next month’s General Election

PHILADELPHIA — This year’s citywide General  Election is less than a month away — Tuesday, Nov. 5 — and the deadline to register to vote, if necessary, is Monday, Oct. 7.

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Luckily, you can register online by clicking here. That Pennsylvania Department of State website should have all the information you need.

Have your Pennsylvania driver’s license or PennDOT ID information available. Your Social Security number should also work if you don’t have identification.

Members of the military on active duty, or hospitalized or bedridden veterans, should be able to register at any time by clicking here.

Click here for information on requesting an absentee ballot. The deadline for requests to be received will be Tuesday, Oct. 29.

General elections don’t require any political party registration. Everyone registered to vote can do so.

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The offices at stake include the mayor, some City Council district seats, all City Council At-Large seats, city commissioners, register of wills and sheriff. There are several judicial races and three ballot questions: a constitutional amendment, city bond question and charter change, all proposed.

Click here to see a sample ballot. You will need to know your City Council district number to see your correct ballot. Click here to see City Council district maps if you’re not sure.

Also new next month, Philadelphia will be using new voting machines. Click here to read more about them. Voting demonstrations have been taking place all over the city. Click here for times and locations for the next week, Monday through Sunday.

Click here for answers to other voting questions.


  1. On Oct. 31, less than a week before the Nov. 5 election (and had no impact on it)…
    * Gov. Tom Wolf signed legislation Thursday that makes major changes to elections in Pennsylvania. The Committee of Seventy said Senate Bill 421 includes “the most substantial improvements to the [Election Code] since it was written in 1937.”
    * PA Post’s Emily Previti has more in a story filed Thursday. “Starting next year, Pennsylvania voters will have another two weeks to register to vote, a few days longer to return absentee ballots, and will be able to request an absentee ballot without having to provide an excuse,” she writes.
    * The mail-in voting change means voters will be able to request and submit their mail-in or absentee ballot up to 50 days before the election, and the Wolf administration says that is the longest vote-by-mail period in the United States.
    * The law also includes a $90 million bond to reimburse counties for replacing voting systems. But that money won’t be made available unless the board overseeing the state’s bonds agrees.
    * The law includes $4 million to help increase participation in next year’s national census. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Michaelle Bond explained earlier this year how that funding helps Pa. ensure an accurate count.
    * One part of the law that led to many objections from Democratic lawmakers is the elimination of straight-ticket voting. David Thornburgh, CEO of the Committee of Seventy, says his group has traditionally opposed that method, “given its heavy use by party machinery going back to the early 1900s.” But Thornburgh said there is a risk to making the change in a presidential election year: It could lead to longer wait times at the polls. To address that concern, he says encouraging people to use the new mail-in option needs to be a priority. The Intercept’s Akela Lacy has more details on the elimination of straight ticket voting and the debate around it.

  2. Philly has its first independent city council member: Working Families Party candidate Kendra Brooks, who claimed a seat long held by Republicans in the heavily Democratic city, Billy Penn reports. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney also won a second term handily amid questions about whether he’ll abandon the post early to run for governor in 2022, Max Marin reports for WHYY.

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