Unlike the last two presidential election cycles with many candidates visiting Erie County to woo voters, interest in the late 2024 primary election seems low, at least from the perspective of the Erie County voter office. "It doesn't seem to be like there's a lot of interest right now," said Tonia Fernandez Erie County director of elections. "We have seen some party change requests for both sides but we haven't seen that increase in voter registrations like we usually do during a presidential election," she added.

After a lengthy court challenge process about whether mail-in ballots must be dated to be counted, the Pennsylvania Department of State redesigned the ballot envelopes to make them easier for voters to understand and complete.

Based on a U.S. 3rd Circuit appeals court ruling in late March, voters who choose the mail-in ballot option must still sign and date their ballots.

The secrecy envelope, where voters place their filled out ballots is now yellow and covered with watermarks so voters won't be tempted to sign that one.

The so called declaration envelope has an X where a voter signature should go, and clarified instructions on putting the date when the ballot is filled out.  It even starts the section for the year with the numbers 2-0.  "It was designed to help voters better understand where to sign and what date to put on the actual declaration, because we were getting a lot of birth dates or just any other date rather than today's date when they actually sign the document," Fernandez said.

GOP voters may be surprised to see Nikki Haley's name on the republican presidential primary ballot, in spite of the fact that she suspended her campaign March 6th.  Votes for Haley will be tabulate, but not so for U.S. Senate Candidates William Parker and Joseph Vodvarka. Voters will be notified that those candidates have been disqualified. "And so Nikki Haley is still on the ballot, she did not request to be removed through the courts, so her name still appears on the ballot and then we actually have two candidates for U.S. Senate one democrat and one republican who have both since been removed so we will send a notice to voters that they have been disqualified," Fernandez said.

Primary election day in Pennsylvania is April 23, one of the latest dates among states across the U.S. Mail-in ballots must be returned to the election office or dropped in the drop box outside of the Erie County Courthouse by 8:00 p.m. on election day.

Voters can check a wealth of information about the election process (if they are registered, where to vote, or to see sample ballots) on the county election website by clicking here.  Voters who vote in person will go to the polls from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on election day.  They'll be voting on their party's ballot for races including President, Congress, U.S. and PA Senate seats, PA Treasurer, Attorney General and PA representatives.  

Erie County will soon roll out a new interactive site to post election results after the polls close.  Recently they have had to use a pdf format, but a new system will make the finding the returns you're looking for much more efficient.