An independent news publication of
United Way of Lancaster County


The Nov. 8 general election: A voters’ guide


With Election Day less than a month away, on Tuesday, Nov. 8, voters should be making sure their registration is up to date and that they’re familiar with the issues and candidates.

The stakes this year are high. Pennsylvanians will be electing a new governor to replace Gov. Tom Wolf, as well as a new U.S. senator to replace Pat Toomey. The latter race, between Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz, could determine which party controls the Senate. Meanwhile, as happens every two years, voters will choose representatives for all U.S. and state House seats.

Here is an FAQ for Lancaster County voters. You may also want to read the county board of elections’ “Tips on How to Be a Prepared Voter.” Additional information is available on the board of elections’ website and at

How do I register to vote?

Visit the Lancaster County Elections Office at 150 N. Queen St. or click here. More information is available here.

To vote in the Nov. 8 election, you must register no later than Monday, Oct. 24.

How do I find my polling place?

Lancaster County’s list of polling locations is here. You can also visit this link and input your address.

How do I request an absentee or mail-in ballot?

If you have a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license or PennDOT ID number, you can apply online here.

Otherwise, you must submit a paper application form to the Lancaster County Elections Office, 150 N. Queen St. The deadline for your application to be received is 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1.

How late can I return a mail-in ballot?

Whether you mail it or return it by hand, your ballot must arrive at the county elections office by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Postmarks do not count. If you don’t think there’s enough time left for the postal service to deliver your ballot, you should return it by hand to the county Elections Office, 150 N. Queen St., Lancaster.

The office is normally open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. It will offer extended drop-off hours in the days before the election, as follows:

  • Thursday, Nov. 3, & Friday, Nov. 4: 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 5: 8 to 11 a.m.
  • Sunday, Nov. 6: CLOSED
  • Monday, Nov. 7: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (normal hours)
  • Tuesday, Nov. 8 (Election Day): 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

There are no extended hours on Monday, Nov. 7. That’s to give staff enough time to sort and reconcile all ballots received before Election Day, as required by Act 88 of 2022.

Do I need to date my mail-in ballot envelope?

Under Pennsylvania’s Act 77, voters must sign and date their ballot return envelopes. Some courts have held that this requirement violates federal voting-rights law, which bars requirements that are not material to determining a voter’s eligibility to vote.

Pennsylvania’s Department of State has issued guidance advising counties that ballots received in undated envelopes should be counted. Litigation is ongoing, however, and as of mid-October, the issue had not been definitively settled.

To ensure your ballot is counted, follow the law to the letter and sign and date the envelope as directed.

Where can I learn more about the candidates?

Click the candidates’ names below to visit their websites. The links below each race listing go to profiles and voter guides from various news sources.

Governor: Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) vs. state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R):

Lieutenant Governor: Austin Davis (D) vs. Carrie DelRosso (R)

U.S. Senator: Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) vs. Dr. Mehmet Oz (R):

U.S. Representative, PA-11 (Lancaster County and southern York County): Bob Hollister (D) vs. U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R):

State House races

When will the polls be open?

From 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17.

How do I find out who is on the ballot?

Use the Lancaster County Specimen Ballot Viewer. A complete list of candidates in all Pennsylvania jurisdictions is available here.

What voting system does Lancaster County use?

Lancaster County now uses paper ballots that voters fill in by hand. They are then scanned. Click here for a step-by-step guide to the process.

Do I need ID to vote?

First-time voters in a precinct will be asked for identification. Thereafter, it is not required.

(Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to add links to LNP’s voters’ guide.)