Philadelphia votes: What you need to know
Along with Pennsylvania, four other northeastern states will be holding primary elections on Tuesday.
Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Rhode Island will join the commonwealth to round out what are being called the “Acela primaries.” Seeing as this primary season has been contentious, this series of primaries could be a major turning point in the party races.
So let’s run down some of the information that you’ll need to know to be an informed voter.
Philadelphia voters will see at least six different contest on the ballot. Others will be dependent on the district the voter lives in. All voters will see the contests below:
President of the United States
One of the state’s two U.S. Senators
State Attorney General
State Auditor General
Delegates and alternate delegates to each party’s convention
Depending on what district they live in, voters will also see elections for their respective U.S. congresspeople and state senators and representatives.
Keep in mind that Pennsylvania has a closed primary. This means if you did not register with a political party before the deadline you will not be able to vote for your party’s candidate in a specific race.
Along with these contested positions, Philadelphians will be able to vote on two proposed state constitutional amendments and one proposed city charter amendment.
The two state level amendments asks voters to decide on amending the mandatory judicial retirement age and abolishing the Philadelphia Traffic Court.
The local amendment asks voters to decide on including the Commission on African-American Males into the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter.
The first and easiest way to stay up to date with your rights as voters is to use votesPA.com. Through this website, PA voters can do the following things, according to the Department of State:
Confirm their voter registration status.
Locate their polling place and get directions.
Find contact information for each county election office.
View a demonstration video of the voting system used in each county.
File a complaint if they encounter any difficulty or questionable situation at the polling place.
In case you need further information, you can pick up last week's edition of AL DÍA which is still available in our honor boxes. Inside you will find a full list of candidates, a sample ballot and instructions in both English and Spanish.
Fight against election fraud and voter irregularities
Voters who have questions or experience problems at the polls should call 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683). The hotline will be live starting on Monday, April 25, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Election Day from 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Spanish-speaking voters may seek assistance through the 888-VE-Y-VOTA (888-839-8682) hotline on Monday, April 25 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Election Day, April 26, from 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Don’t forget that you can also report voter intimidation or potentially illegal or fraudulent activity to a poll worker or the District Attorney's Office at 215-686-9641. You can also report problems to the Philadelphia County Board of Elections at 215-686-1590.
To report on election day issues and voters' experiences at the polls, Committee of Seventy will gather data through its 855-SEVENTY hotline and via an online survey offered in both English and Spanish.
The pilot online survey administered by the organization during the November 2015 municipal election received more than 650 responses from Philadelphia residents. You can check out the results at seventy.org.
“We urge voters to share their experience from the April 26, 2016 election. The survey only takes a few minutes and no identifiable information is required,” stated the organization.