Today is the last day to register to vote in the May 18th Pennsylvania Primary. In order to qualify to vote a person must be a resident of the United States and have lived in the voting district for at least 30 days prior to the election and be at least 18 years old on the day of the election. Today is also the deadline to change party affiliations. Pennsylvania holds what is known as a “closed primary” which means a voter can only vote in the primary of the party to which they are registered. Party changes and new registrations can be made at the county elections office and forms can be downloaded from the Pennsylvania Department of State web site. Forms post marked with today’s date will be accepted.
There are a few general elections being held on the same day as the primary this year. Most notably in Western Pennsylvania is the race to fill the unexpired term of US Congressman John Murtha. Murtha died while in office February 8th. Voters in the 12th congressional district will cast votes in that general election as well as in a primary for a candidate to run in the November election for a full term. State Representative District 20 is also holding a special election May 118th. Don Walko retired from tHat seat to become a judge. Voters with no party affiliation and those affiliated with so-called “third parties” can vote in the general election races but will not be allowed to vote in any primary races in those districts.