50 states in 50 days—Pennsylvania

Welcome to the Monday, August 29, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Explore Pennsylvania elections
  2. Federal Register update—more than 300 significant documents issued so far this year 
  3. Come work with us!

Explore Pennsylvania elections

Today is the first in our 50 states in 50 days series. Long-time Brew readers will remember this from 2018 and 2020. In this series, we will preview what’s on the ballot in each state, which parties control state and congressional offices, and what you should know to cast your ballot. The next 50 Brew issues take us all the way up to the general election. So—buckle up!

We’ll go in order of when early voting starts and how early each state held their primary. The first state in our series is Pennsylvania—the Keystone state!

On the ballot in Pennsylvania

At the federal level, Pennsylvania voters will elect one U.S. Senator and 17 U.S. Representatives. At the state executive level, the governor and lieutenant governor offices are up for election this year. Twenty-five out of 50 seats in the state Senate and all 203 state House districts up for election. 

There are two open U.S. House districts and 40 open seats in the state legislature this year. 

Redistricting highlights

Pennsylvania lost one congressional districts after the 2020 census, going from 18 in 2020 to 17 this year. 

Congressional and state legislative elections will take place under new district lines. Here are the congressional maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle in Pennsylvania:  

To see Pennsylvania’s state legislative maps in effect before and after redistricting visit our Pennsylvania redistricting page

Partisan balance

  • One of Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senators—Bob Casey Jr.—is a Democrat and the other—Pat Toomey—is a Republican.
  • Republicans and Democrats represent nine U.S. House districts each.
  • Republicans have a 28-21 majority in the state Senate and a 113-89 majority in the state House. Because the governor is a Democrat, Pennsylvania is one of 13 states with a divided government. It has held this status since 2015.
  • Pennsylvania’s governor, attorney general, and secretary of the commonwealth are Democrats. This makes Pennsylvania one of 18 states with a Democratic triplex.

Seats contested by only one major party

In 2022, 103 state legislative seats in Pennsylvania, or 45% of all seats up for election, do not have major party competition. 

Democrats are running in 75% of all state legislative races. Fifty-six state legislative seats (25% of all state legislative seats) do not have a Democratic candidate and a Republican is likely to win.

Republicans are running in 79% of all state legislative races. Forty-seven seats (21% of all state legislative seats) do not have a Republican candidate and a Democrat is likely to win.

Key races

Ballot measures

There are no statewide ballot measures in Pennsylvania in 2022. 

Sixty-nine ballot measures were on the ballot from 1968 and 2021. Sixty-two were approved and seven were defeated.


  • On Election Day, polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST. An individual in line at the time polls close must be allowed to vote. 
  • Pennsylvania does not require identification to vote except for first-time voters. For more information about voter ID requirements in Pennsylvania, click here
  • Early voting is available to all voters. Start dates vary by county, starting as early as Sept. 19. Early voting ends on Nov. 1. 
  • The voting registration deadline in Pennsylvania is Oct. 24. Registration can be done online, in person, or by mail. Pennsylvania does not allow same-day voter registration.
  • All Pennsylvania voters are eligible to cast absentee ballots. Voters can return their ballots in person or by mail. In both cases, ballots must be received by Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. The deadline to request an absentee or mail-in ballot is Nov. 1. To check the status of your ballot, click here
  • Absentee ballots include return envelopes printed with a declaration that the voter must sign for the ballot to be counted.

Want to learn more about the elections you’ll be voting in this year? Click here to use our Sample Ballot Lookup tool!

Click below to learn more about Pennsylvania’s 2022 elections. 

Keep reading

Federal Register update—more than 300 significant documents issued so far this year 

From Aug. 22 through Aug. 26, the Federal Register added 1,424 pages for a year-to-date total of 52,660 pages.

The Federal Register is a daily journal of federal government activity that includes presidential documents, proposed and final rules, and public notices. It is a common measure of an administration’s regulatory activity, accounting for both regulatory and deregulatory actions.

This week’s Federal Register featured the following 525 documents:

  • 412 notices
  • Two presidential documents
  • 25 proposed rules
  • 86 final rules

Six proposed rules and eight final rules were deemed significant under E.O. 12866. Significant rules are those defined by the potential to have large effects on the economy, environment, public health, or state or local governments. The proposed and final rules deemed significant include amendments to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) regulations and to the Federal Management Regulation (FMR) regarding physical security standards.

The Biden administration has issued 144 significant proposed rules, 164 significant final rules, and one significant notice as of August 26.

The Federal Register hit an all-time high of 95,894 pages in 2016.

Click the link below to learn more about the Federal Register and our Administrative State Project.

Keep reading 

Come work with us!

Few voters know who is on their ballot, and they don’t always have an easy way to find out. This is the ballot information problem—a problem we’re solving by making unbiased information available about elections, candidates, judges, ballot measures, policies, and more. Want to help us solve the ballot information problem? Come work with us!

We’re a team of fast learners and creative problem solvers. We believe the world will be a better place if every citizen has access to information they need to make informed decisions in every election in which they are eligible to vote. 

Our work takes place across several departments—editorial, communications, external relations, operations, tech, and more. If our mission to close the ballot information gap resonates with you, then click—and bookmark—the link below to see our current openings. Check back often for new opportunities! 

Apply today