PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — From races for mayor to contests for judgeships and school boards, it’s Pennsylvania’s primary election day.
Voters will make many decisions on the local political landscape at the polls today.
Polling places will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. In Allegheny County, over 1,300 polling places will be open.
As for mail-in and absentee ballots, in order for them to be counted, the Elections Division says they have to receive them by 8 p.m.
While primaries are designed for only Republicans and Democrats to pick their party nominees, this year’s primary is open to all voters — including if you’re a registered Independent.
“You and your neighborhood and also who you care about, in your neighborhood and other neighborhoods,” said Jerry Morosco.
Low voter turnout is more than likely, which could be considered surprising, as in this primary election, voters choose the county, municipal and school board members, who help make decisions on raising or lowering taxes.
“We have to make sure that we have what we want for our city, and the only way by doing that is voting,” said Lance Esper.
In the city of Pittsburgh, there are the bigger races.
“We’re voting for the mayor. We’re voting for a lot of judges. There’s some important constitutional things on the ballot,” said Morosco.
While primary elections historically have a lower turnout, it didn’t help some voters Tuesday morning had to wait or even leave and come back to cast their ballot.
In Mt. Lebanon, a district there didn’t have its election materials. We’re told a few voters waited for hours. In other communities, like Collier, no poll workers showed up. In White Oak, there was no one to serve as Judge of Election. And while the county says these issues were later resolved, voters tell KDKA, for them, it was a simple process.
“There’s no reason why you shouldn’t do it. It was totally fine. They were super nice, super awesome. Easy. In and out five minutes,” said Esper.
As for mask-wearing, poll workers and poll watchers will be required to wear a mask or face covering while inside polling places.
Voters will be asked to wear a face covering, regardless of vaccination status. A voter who does not wear a face mask or face covering will not be denied the right to vote, and poll workers will not ask voters about their vaccination status.
Voters are encouraged to verify their registration and polling place prior to going to vote.
To find your polling place, click here.
For all results from the 2021 Primary Elections, click here to access KDKA’s extensive election day guide.