May 16, 2023 - Politics

When to expect results in Philly's mayoral primary and other races

Illustration of Philadelphia city hall over a divided red and blue background with elements of ballots.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The primary is finally here — but results for tight races may take days or weeks to come in.

Why it matters: The election will likely decide who leads the city over the next four years.

📍 What’s happening: Officials begin counting mail-in ballots at 7am today when polls open.

  • Voters can cast ballots for mayor, City Council, row offices, state and local judges, and weigh in on four ballot questions.
  • Polls close at 8pm.

Of note: While Pennsylvania has closed primaries, independents can vote on ballot questions.

👉 When we'll have results: The majority of ballots will be counted by tomorrow, Nick Custodio, a spokesperson for City Commissioner Lisa Deeley, tells Axios.

  • Winners of most races should be known tonight or Wednesday.

Yes, but: Some results could take longer.

  • If a contest hinges on a handful of votes, the winner may not be known for two weeks.
  • That’s how long it takes election officials to count every ballot.

The intrigue: The Democratic primary for mayor is deadlocked among several candidates, per a recent independent poll.

Zoom in: Turnout is typically low for off-year municipal primary elections, but this is the first mayoral primary using mail-in ballots. That could get more voters to participate.

  • Turnout has not broken 34% for any mayoral primary over the past two decades.

By the numbers: Mail-in ballot requests topped 96,000, Custodio tells Axios.

  • 49,000 had been received back as of Friday.

💡 Be smart: More than 1,000 voters have filed mail-in ballots that are at risk of getting tossed due to administrative issues, such as missing a signature, per the City Commissioner’s website.

  • Those voters can request a replacement ballot by 7:30pm today or cast a provisional ballot.

Final results will be certified 20 days after the election, barring prolonged litigation.

What’s next: Primary winners move on to the general election.

  • Democrats who win their primary typically go on to win in November because those registered voters significantly outnumber Republicans.

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