mail-in ballots

A box from Lancaster County Board of Elections for submitting mail-in and absentee ballots has been set up just inside the Chestnut Street entrance to the count offices at 150 N. Queen St. in Lancaster city Thursday, April 29, 2021.

Lancaster County voters will nominate candidates for dozens of municipal offices and school boards in the May 18 primary.

They’ll also decide primary battles for state courts and answer four statewide ballot questions, two of which would limit the emergency powers of the governor.

In northeastern Lancaster County, three candidates are running for district judge, and in Manheim Borough two Republicans are vying for mayor. Democrats face a contest for Lancaster City Council, and there are battles for councils and boards in five boroughs and nine townships.

Nine of 17 local school districts also have primary contests.

This guide focuses only on areas in which there are more candidates than nominations available, leaving voters with decisions to make. Many other candidates are running uncontested on the Democratic and Republican ballots.

Candidates fight for commissioner terms in Manheim Township, county's largest suburb
Manheim is only county borough with contested primary for mayor
3 seek district judge seat in northeastern Lancaster County
What to know about Lancaster County's contested school board seats

Election Day

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Ballots from voters casting ballots by mail must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day, May 18. Mail-in voters also can use a drop box at the Chestnut Street entrance to the Lancaster County Government Center at 150 N. Queen St. The drop box is available May 12 from 8:30 to 5 p.m.; May 13 and 14 from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., May 15 from 8 a.m. to noon; May 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and May 18 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Where do I vote?

If you don’t know where your polling place is, visit and click on “Find Your Polling Place.” Enter your home address, and the website will tell you the street address of your polling place and give you directions.

What if I have problems voting?

If you have problems at your polling place, call the Lancaster County Elections Office at 717-299-8293. You can also stop by the office at 150 N. Queen St., Suite 117. That’s the former Armstrong building at Queen and Chestnut streets in Lancaster.

If you’d like to report a voting problem to the newspaper, call 717-291-8622. If you’re on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, report voting problems or issues using #LancasterVotes.

Where can I find results?

The results will start filtering into the Lancaster County Elections Office a short time after the polls close. Check LancasterOnline for live coverage and breaking news throughout the day and evening.

First-time voters

If you are voting in person for the first time or voting at a new precinct for the first time, you must bring one of the following approved forms of photo identification:

  • Pennsylvania driver’s license or PennDOT ID card.
  • ID issued by any Commonwealth agency.
  • ID issued by the U.S. government.
  • U.S. passport.
  • U.S. Armed Forces ID.
  • Student ID.
  • Employee ID.

If you do not have a photo ID, you can use identification without a photo that includes your name and address. Approved forms of ID without a photo include:

  • Confirmation issued by the county voter registration office.
  • Non-photo ID issued by any Commonwealth agency.
  • Non-photo ID issued by the U.S. government.
  • Firearm permit.
  • Current utility bill.
  • Current bank statement.
  • Current paycheck.
  • Government check.
Every voter can weigh in on four ballot questions in today's primary
Here are 3 Republicans running for Pennsylvania Supreme Court seat
Who's running for your Lancaster County school board in the 2021 primaries?
Here are the 9 Lancaster County townships with contested primaries
5 contested Lancaster County borough battles for council

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