What you need to know about the Pennsylvania primary election

The Pennsylvania primary is a little more than a month away.

Here's a guide of what you need to know as election day nears.

Who's running in the Pennsylvania primary?

The hottest races in the May 17 primary are for U.S. Senate, governor and lieutenant governor.

In the Senate race, five Democrats and seven Republicans are running for their chance to replace retiring Sen. Pat Toomey in Washington.

Nine Republicans are running campaigns to be their party's nominee for governor. They'll face Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who is running unopposed in the Democratic primary, in the fall.

In Bucks County, Republican Brian Fitzpatrick faces primary challenges from Alex Entin and Caroline Kay Avery in the race for the 1st District Congressional seat. Democrat Ashley Ehasz will face the winner of that challenge in the fall.

All of Bucks County's General Assembly seats also are up grabs this year, and Republican voters in both the 29th and 31st state House districts are being asked to choose their candidate for the fall.

In Montgomery County, Republican voters will see contested primaries for the 4th District in U.S. Congress, and the 16th District in the state Senate.

From John Fetterman to Dr. Oz:Who's running for U.S. Senate? A look at the May primary election

Get to know the gubernatorial candidatesWho's running for governor in Pennsylvania? A look at the May primary

1st district race:Who's running for Congress? Fitzpatrick faces GOP primary challenge

State house candidatesElection 2022: Who's running for state representative in Bucks County?

How can I register to vote in the Pennsylvania primary?

If you are 18 years of age on or before the date of the primary, you can register to vote online before May 2. Eligible voters must also be a U.S. citizen, a resident of Pennsylvania and the election district in which they plan to vote, for at least one month prior to the election.

Check your registration status or update your address, party affiliation and other information at vote.pa.gov.

You can also register by mail or in person at your county voter registration office; county assistance offices; Women, Infants & Children (WIC) program offices; PennDOT photo and drivers’ license centers; Armed Forces recruitment centers; county clerk of orphans’ courts or marriage license offices; area agencies on aging; county mental health and intellectual disabilities offices; student disability services offices of the State System of Higher Education; offices of special education in high schools; and Americans with Disabilities Act-mandated complementary paratransit providers.

Can anyone vote in Pennsylvania's primary?

Pennsylvania has a closed primary, meaning only voters registered as Democrats or Republicans can vote for their party's nominees on May 17.

Regardless of party affiliation, all registered voters can vote on any local ballot questions that may be on the ballot, and all registered voters in the following districts can vote in the following special elections for the legislature:

  • 19th and 24th Legislative Districts in Allegheny County on April 5

  • 116th Legislative District in Luzerne County on April 5

  • 5th Senatorial District in Philadelphia County on May 17

How redistricting affects the primaryRedistricting gives Bucks a new political landscape. Who's representing you?

Can I vote by mail?

Despite a court challenge to Pennsylvania's mail-in ballot expansion, the opportunity to vote by mail still exists for the primary election.

Registered voters can request a mail-in or absentee ballot online. Applications must be received by a voter’s county election board by 5 p.m. May 10.

Voted mail ballots must be received by county election offices by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Postmarks do not count.

Fate of PA voting lawPA Mail-in voter case awaits state Supreme Court decision. About 2.5M voters could be affected if law is struck down

For our subscribers: Analysis: We examined millions of Pennsylvania voter records. There were few 'irregularities'

How can I find out about where candidates stand on the issues?

This news organization is soliciting responses from candidates for our upcoming Voters Guide, publishing April 25. If you're a candidate and didn't receive a questionnaire, contact editor Crissa Shoemaker DeBree at cdebree@gannett.com.

This article originally appeared on Bucks County Courier Times: Registration deadlines, candidates for Pennsylvania's primary election