Vote in the Pennsylvania Primary Election - May 17, 2022


What elections are there in Pennsylvania? What am I voting for?

Pennsylvania will hold a Democratic Primary on May 17 for U.S. Representatives and U.S. Senate as well as state offices for Governor, Lieutenant Governor and your State Representatives and State Senators. The winners of these Democratic primary races will go up against the Republicans in the November 8, 2022 General Election.

The US Senate seat is open as Republican Pat Toomey is retiring. We have a rare and excellent opportunity to gain a new Democratic seat and increase the Democratic majority.

And you may also be able to vote to choose the Democratic candidates for Governor, Lt Governor and your representatives to the Pennsylvania state legislature. It depends on the category you choose when you register to vote and request your ballot:

  • If you "intend to return": You are eligible to vote in Pennsylvania state elections.
    *You don't have to have a set date of return and it doesn't have to be within a set time frame, but you do need to have an intention to return at some time in the future.

  • If your “return is uncertain”: You won’t be eligible to vote in Pennsylvania state elections, but you can still vote in the federal election for the US House and US Senate.

*Please note: Selecting “intend to return” may contribute towards establishing yourself as a tax resident in Pennsylvania. Because the legal requirements to establish “residence” or “domicile” for tax purposes are determined by state law and the specific facts of your life, before you note that you intend to return on your form, you may consider seeking advice on these matters from a tax professional

State elections are hugely important! State government is responsible for voting and state policies regarding climate change, education, health insurance, net neutrality, student loans, and more affect us no matter where we go around the world.

1) Register to Vote and Request Your Ballot Today

It's easy to request your ballot. And your ballot request covers all elections in 2022, so send the form in now and ensure your ballot for the May 17th Primary and for the November 8th General election.

Go to and follow the prompts to fill out the form to request your ballot, the Federal Post Card Application form (FPCA). (If needed, it will also serve as a voter registration.) To ensure you receive your ballot in time, please check the box on the FPCA to have your blank ballot sent to you by “Email/Online” or “Fax”.

To vote in Pennsylvania’s Democratic Primary, you must also specify “Democratic” as your political party.

You can send in your FPCA to your local election office in Pennsylvania by email (recommended) or fax or mail.

  • If you are registered to vote, you MUST still send in an FPCA to request your ballot in 2022 to vote in this election and it must be received by May 16, 2022.

  • If you are NOT registered to vote, your FPCA must be received by May 2, 2022. 

2) When You Get Your Ballot, Fill It Out and Mail It Back Right Away

Ballots for the Primary started going out on April 2, 2022. If you asked for your ballot by email, be sure to check your spam folder and any secondary inboxes.

When you get your ballot, fill it out and mail it back away. It must be postmarked no later than May 16, 2022 AND it also must be received in Pennsylvania by May 24, 2022, at 5:00 pm Pennsylvania time.

3) If You Don't Have Your Ballot Yet, Mail in a Backup Ballot

If you haven't received your ballot yet, we recommend you mail in a Backup Ballot (the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot, or FWAB). It’s only for overseas voters and protects your right to vote in case your official ballot doesn't arrive in time. For detailed information how to use the Backup Ballot, please go to

When you use the Backup Ballot for a Primary election, the website will indicate the candidates for US Senate and the candidates for US House in your Congressional District.

And you may use the Backup Ballot for state elections as well, but you will need to add those to the “Write In Candidates” section. You can use this website to find the candidates in your jurisdiction:

Then write in the office and your choice in the "Write in Candidates" block of the Backup Ballot. Please remember, this is a Primary election, so you must write in the candidate's name, not just the political party:

4) Confirm That Your Ballot Was Accepted and Counted

After you send in your ballot, make sure your vote is counted!

You can check your ballot status online. You will need to log in at:
Then go to: 

If you are sent to "Pennsylvania Voter Election Security Information" rather than the Login page when you click on the link, then you may need to use a VPN to access these pages. For more information about how to use a VPN, please see FAQ #TI-1.

Or, you can email or call your local election office directly. You can find the contact information at:; scroll down to "Find Your Election Office"

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