AARP AARP States Pennsylvania Voters

How to Vote in the 2021 Lehigh County Primary Election

The Lehigh County primary election for mayor, city council, school board, district justices, constables and other offices is approaching, with options to vote safely amid the coronavirus pandemic.

●      Your absentee or mail-in ballot application must be received by 5 p.m. on May 11.

●      Polls are open on May 18 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

●      Absentee and mail-in ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on May 18 in order to be counted.

US-VOTE-DROPOFF
A voter drops off a ballot at the Lehigh County Government Center in Allentown.
ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

How do I register to vote?

To cast your ballot in the primary, you must register to vote by May 3.  You can register in several ways.

  • To register online, go to the Pennsylvania voter services website at votespa.com.
  • To register by mail, print out a voter registration application and mail the completed form to the Voter Registration Office at the Lehigh County Government Center, 17 S. 7th St. Allentown, PA 18101-2401. The registration office must receive your application by May 3.
  • If you need the form sent to you, call the county elections office at 610-782-3194 or email electionboard@lehighcounty.org. Mail your application to the Lehigh County Elections Office at 17 S. 17th St., Allentown, PA 18101-2401.  It must be received by May 3. 
  • To register in person, bring your completed application to the elections office (17 S. 17th St., Allentown, PA 18101-2401.  You can also pick up a registration application at some public libraries and post offices, or pick up and return your completed form to the Voter Registration Office in person. The office is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • If you’re active-duty military or a hospitalized or bedridden veteran, you can request an absentee ballot through the Federal Voting Assistance Program website, by calling toll-free at 800-438-8683, or via DSN: 425-1584 for internationally based active-duty military or veterans.

How can I get a mail-in or absentee ballot? Are there important deadlines?

Your mail-in or absentee ballot application must be received (not just postmarked) by 5 p.m. on May 11, and your ballot must be received (not just postmarked) by 8 p.m. on Election Day, May 18. Absentee ballots are for voters who are overseas or cannot vote in person for some other reason.  Mail-in ballots are for anyone who would prefer to vote from home. You do not need an excuse to vote via mail-in ballot. You can apply to vote absentee or by mail at votespa.com. Or you can print the application and mail it in. Or visit the Voter Registration Office and fill out an application in person.

When is Election Day? When are the polls open?

Primary Election Day is Tuesday, May 18. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Find your local polling place using the Lehigh County Polling Place Finder. The municipal election will be on Nov. 2.

Can I vote in person before Election Day?

Pennsylvania doesn’t formally offer early in-person voting, but you can go to the local elections office and fill out a mail-in ballot application. You can then complete and hand in your ballot on site.

Do I need identification to vote?

If you are planning to vote at a polling place for the first time, you must show valid identification, like a driver’s license, U.S. passport or current utility bill. A full list of acceptable identification is on the Votes PA website.

What is being done to make polling places safe from the coronavirus?

Poll workers will be given personal protective equipment and hand sanitizer. Lehigh County officials recommends that those with coronavirus-related concerns vote via mail. There will be social distancing in polling places and masks are recommended. Poll workers will be given personal protective equipment and hand sanitizer.

What races are on the ballot?

These are the candidates on the Allentown ballot as of late March:

  • Allentown Mayor:
    • Democratic ballot:
      • Incumbent Ray O’Connell
      • CeCe Gerlach
      • Matt Tuerk
      • Julio Guridy
    • Republican Tim Ramos is running unopposed

There are also races for city council, school board, district judges, constables and other offices.  A complete list of races can be found here.

gray divider line

This guide, published on March 29, was updated on April 16 with more information about Lehigh County elections.

Also of Interest:

About AARP Pennsylvania
Contact information and more from your state office. Learn what we are doing to champion social change and help you live your best life.