Whether you're running for President of the United States or School Board Director in your local municipality, we're all bound by the same time constraints. In particular, there is one calendar to which candidates MUST adhere: the election calendar.
In Pennsylvania, the election calendar is published each year and specifies the dates and deadlines important to political candidates and elected officials. The dates within the calendar are set in the Pennsylvania Code and are part of the election law enacted by state legislators and amended from time to time.
For those who have never read the Pennsylvania code, some of the terms may be hard to understand, and some of the logical reasoning can be confusing to follow. For example, the date when candidates can start circulating petitions is written as "...no sooner than the 13th Tuesday before the primary." Of course, this requires you to read the section on when the primary is held, and that can differ depending on whether it is an odd or even-numbered year (municipal or general primary) and whether that year holds a presidential race.
Yes, it can be confusing. But wouldn't it be great if someone prepared the dates for you?
Luckily, the state prints an election calendar a few weeks before petitions can be circulated. Just keep checking the State Elections Bureau website...
What's that you say? You'd like something sooner so you can actually plan your race ahead of time.
Once again, you're in luck.
We went through the election code line by line and prepared a Pennsylvania election calendar for you. In fact, it's a handy little calculator that can automatically calculate the following election calendar details for you:
- Type of Primary
- Whether or Not it is a Presidential Election Year
- Type of Primary
- Date of Primary Election
- Date of General Election
- Date candidates can start circulating petitions
- Date petition circulation ends
- Date petition objection period ends
- Date by which petition court hearings need to be decided
That's pretty much everything a candidate needs to know to get their campaign started early, and all the important details getting them through petitions and up to the time when they will know their name is on the ballot.
We use this at Think Big Campaigns every year and we think you'll like using it too. As a sample, we've printed the 2019 election calendar which you can see below.
The calculator is located in a Google Spreadsheet which can be copied to your own Google Drive or downloaded into an excel file.
All you need to do is enter the year of your election and everything is calculated for you. It's just that easy.
Get your complimentary copy of the PA Election Calendar Calculator now.