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Election Day FAQs

These resources are primarily about voting, whether in-person or by mail, in Pennsylvania. 

General FAQs

What will be on the ballot?

Before you get to the polls or complete your mail ballot, it's helpful to familiarize yourself with what will appear on it. BallotReady.org and Vote.org are both trusted nonpartisan sources about candidates, what they stand for, and any referendum questions that may be put to voters.

I can't remember where I'm registered. Is there a some way I can find out?

 If you can't remember where you registered, or if you're registered at all, you can quickly confirm your registration status online.

FAQs about Voting in Person in Swarthmore

Where's my polling place?

Students can confirm their polling location by checking their voter registration status on the PA Department of State website and scrolling down to find their polling place name and address. Swarthmore students registered on campus will either be assigned to the Northern Precinct (Swarthmore-Rutledge School) or Western Precinct (CADES). Directions to both polling places are below. 

When can I vote?

Polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. Lines are likely to be especially long at times before and after traditional office hours or around noon. If you are in line when the polls close at 8 p.m., you are entitled to vote. Do NOT leave the line after 8 p.m. or you will not be able to cast your ballot. 

How do I get to Swarthmore-Rutledge School (SRS)?

SRS (Swarthmore-Rutledge School) is down the hill of College Avenue. Cross at the light and continue past the athletic fields on the right. This 10 minute walk is about half a mile from the Rose Garden Circle and located at 100 College Avenue.

How do I get to CADES?

To go to CADES (Children and Adult Disability and Educational Services), go down Rutgers Avenue (starts next to the PNC Bank). Cross Harvard and Yale Avenues. Continue up the next block, you'll see the CADES building on your left. This is a 15-20 minute walk from Parrish Hall and a 10-15 minute walk from Mary Lyon Hall and is located at 401 Rutgers Avenue.

What should I do if my vote is challenged or I feel intimated at the polls? 

Students who are intimidated or challenged when they go to vote in person, or who have questions or concerns about their voting experience, can call or text the Election Protection hotline (866-OUR-VOTE or 866-687-8683) or visit the Election Protection website.

Do I need photo ID to vote in person?

You must show ID if you are voting for the first time at your designated polling place; the Committee recommends using your Swarthmore College ID or your signed voter registration card, which you should have received in the mail. Even if you have voted before, we recommend bringing your College ID in case of any confusion at the polls. Do not use an out-of-state driver's license as a voter ID. 

I've never voted in-person before. How does it work? What do I need to know? 

Before you go, confirm your voter registration and polling place. Make sure you  bring a form of identification (the Get Out the Vote Committee recommends bringing your Swarthmore College OneCard) and be prepared to wait in line. Pennsylvania has a helpful article about what to expect at your polling place which you may want to read before you go to vote. If you're still uncertain, e-mail vote@swarthmore.edu with questions.

Can I wear campaign/candidate paraphernalia to the polls to vote? 

Yes, you can. Pennsylvania state law reads

“No person, when within the polling place, shall electioneer or solicit votes for any political party, political body or candidate, nor shall any written or printed matter be posted up within the said room, except as required by this act.”

However, while state law doesn’t prohibit campaign clothing that hasn’t stopped poll workers from asking people to cover it up. The lack of specificity regarding what constitutes “electioneering”  has led polling places across the state to ask people to cover the offending garment, such as hats, shirts, and buttons in order to place their vote in previous elections. If you choose to wear campaign paraphernalia, you may want to bring something to cover it up in case a poll worker challenges you. 

FAQs about Voting by Mail

My mail-in ballot never arrived. What should I do?

Go to your polling place and ask to cast a provisional ballot. After the county board of elections confirms that you did not in fact vote by mail, your vote will be counted.
Learn more about provisional ballots from VotesPA.com. If you cast a provision ballot, make sure you hold on to your provisional ballot identification receipt. You will need the provisional ballot identification number, which is on your provisional ballot identification receipt, to check whether your ballot was counted, partially counted or did not count beginning seven days after the election. 

I received a mail-in ballot, but I changed my mind and now I want to vote in-person. Can I?

 Yes. You can still vote at your polling place. You must bring your mail-in ballot and everything that came with it — the return envelope and the blank “security envelope” — to your polling place with you. A poll worker will help you void them. Then you may vote in person.

If you don’t bring everything with you (maybe your mail-in ballot never arrived), but you want to vote in person, you can cast a provisional ballot. After the county board of elections confirms that you did not in fact vote by mail, your vote will be counted.

I received a mail-in ballot but have not yet returned it. Is it too late? 

If mailed, Pennsylvania mail-in and absentee ballots must be received by 8pm on November 2. Ballots may also be returned to a Ballot Drop Box by 8pm on November 2.

Where is the closest Ballot Drop Box?

The closest Ballot Drop Box is at Swarthmore Borough Building/Library (121 Park Avenue, Swarthmore, PA 19081). This PDF includes a photo showing the exact location of the Ballot Drop Box outside of Swarthmore Borough Hall. You can follow these Google Maps directions.

I returned my mail-in ballot, but it has not yet been received. What should I do? 
First, check the ballot tracker one more time to confirm your ballot has not yet been marked as received. If the online tracker does not show the ballot as received or counted, call the Delaware County Bureau of Elections and ask to confirm.  
 
If you are unable to confirm your ballot has been received, you may wish to cast a provisional ballot. To cast a provisional ballot, go to your polling place and ask to cast a provisional ballot. If, after the election, the county board of elections confirms that they did not receive your mail-in ballot, your provisional ballot will be counted. Learn more about voting by provisional ballot from VotesPA.com.
 
If you cast a provisional ballot, make sure you hold on to your provisional ballot identification receipt. You will need the provisional ballot identification number, which is on your provisional ballot identification receipt, to check whether your ballot was counted, partially counted or did not count. This information is available beginning seven days after the election. 
Do I need stamps to return my mail-in or absentee ballot?

For the 2020 general election in Pennsylvania, you do not need stamps to return your mail-in or absentee ballot. You can mail your ballot at any United States Postal Service (USPS) post office or blue mailbox. Alternatively, you can return your ballot to a Ballot Drop Box. More information on Ballot Drop Boxes is above.