Important Primary Election Dates
The Democratic Party Primary Election is Tuesday May 16, 2023. Voters who are registered Democratic will be asked to choose candidates they want to see on the General Election ballot for November 7. Last day to register to vote is May 1. Independents will not have anything to vote for unless there are ballot referendum questions, but you may change your registration by May 1 to vote in the Democratic Primary Election. US citizens who are currently age 17 but who will turn 18 by November 7 may register to vote now and participate in the May 16 Primary.
Vote-by-mail has proven to be a safe, secure, and easy means to vote for those who have family or work commitments or health issues. Visit HERE to register to vote by mail, which will also sign you up to receive a mail-in ballot prior to the November General Election. The deadline to register to receive a mail-in ballot is May 9, although you will not want to wait that late to sign up, as receiving and returning the ballot in one week may be challenging.
Candidates for local and state offices, from school director to township or municipal offices to judicial seats, must all circulate nominating petitions and secure sufficient valid signatures of registered Democratic voters to be placed on the Primary Election Ballot. The official petition signing period is February 14 to March 7, with all completed and notarized paperwork due by 5:00PM on March 7 to Chester County Voter Services or the PA Department of State for state-wide races.
Many voters do not have sufficient time or access to declared candidate information to research and make the best informed decisions, which is why the endorsement process is so important to fielding the best possible slate of Democratic candidates for the November election. Nearly 400 Democratic Precinct Committeepersons have been busy attending candidate forums for county-wide and judicial offices as well as individual candidate “meet and greet” events to best understand qualifications and electability. At the more local level, each of the 18 area Democratic Zone organizations will also meet to endorse and publicize their recommendations for school directors, municipal races, and Magisterial District Judges.
The Chester County Democratic Committee (CCDC) will conduct its annual endorsement convention on February 15. At that time, all authorized and confirmed Democratic Committeepersons or their declared proxies will have received notification and information to attend and cast votes for their preferred candidates, with those receiving 60% of the vote granted CCDC endorsement. This entitles those candidates to advertise the CCDC endorsement along with this designation placed on CCDC documents, website, and social media as well as sample ballots. Of course, voters are encouraged to also do their own candidate research.
Following the February 15 Endorsement Convention, our website will publicize and provide contact and background information for those receiving endorsement. (Those non-endorsed candidates choosing to remain in the race through the Primary will also be identified.)
It’s important to note that for judicial races as well as school directors, candidates may cross-file on the other party’s ballots as long as they acquire sufficient valid petition signatures from that party’s registered voters. So there will be Republican Party candidates on the Democratic Primary Election ballot, hoping to win on both D and R sides and run virtually unopposed in November. This makes the endorsement process much more important, especially for this year’s county Court of Common Pleas judicial races.