Nov 7, 2023 - News

Philadelphia heads to the polls for Election Day

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

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

It's Election Day and there's a lot on the ballot.

Why it matters: Voters will decide who runs Philadelphia over the next four years, affecting the city's $6 billion budget, property taxes, schools and more.

๐Ÿ“What's happening: Officials begin counting mail-in ballots at 7am Tuesday when polls open.

  • Voters are determining races for mayor, City Council, row offices and state and local judges.
  • Polls close at 8pm.

๐Ÿ‘‰ When we'll have results: The majority of all ballots will likely be counted by midnight, Nick Custodio, a spokesperson for City Commissioner Chair Lisa Deeley, tells Axios.

  • Expect to know the winners of most races Tuesday night.

Reality check: Democrats are heavily favored to win their races.

Details: The mayor's race is the highest profile campaign, as Democrat Cherelle Parker vies against Republican David Oh to become Philly's 100th CEO.

Zoom in: A heated campaign for two of the seven at-large City Council seats could be close.

Meanwhile, another closely watched race is in Northeast Philly.

  • Republican Councilmember Brian O'Neill, who's held his District 10 seat for more than four decades, faces Democrat Gary Masino.

For the judges on the ballot, visit the Philadelphia Bar Association website for recommendations.

The intrigue: Total turnout is likely to be low.

  • The last mayoral general election in 2019 drew about 29% of voters to the polls.
  • That's still better than the May primary when turnout was 27%.

โœ‰๏ธ By the numbers: The city had already received more than 62,000 mail-in ballots out of 110,000 requests as of last Friday, per Custodio.

๐Ÿง  Be smart: Hundreds of voters have filed mail-in ballots that are at risk of getting tossed due to administrative issues, like not having a secrecy envelope, per the City Commissioners' website.

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

Plus: About 1,000 more mail-in ballots could go uncounted because they lack verifiable voter identification.

What's next: Final results will be certified 20 days after the election, barring litigation.

  • The winners of city elections take office in January.
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