Vote in Person in Pennsylvania
Voting in person is just like it sounds. When you register, you’re assigned to a SPECIFIC polling location in your region. On election day, go to that polling location during their prescribed hours to cast your vote. Some states (not Pennsylvania) allow people to cast their votes in person prior to election day. Once you’ve decided to vote in person, schedule a specific time to vote (e.g., 2pm) and put that in your calendar. Locate your polling place and map out directions.
Remember: College students have the right to register to vote at the address they consider the place where they live — whether that’s their family's home or the place where they attend school. You may only be registered and vote in one location
Here are election day essentials for Swarthmore voters:
Swarthmore Polling Locations
All voting locations are within easy walking distance from the College:
- 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.
- 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.
The Get Out the Vote committee has on occassion arranged for shuttle service from the Rose Garden Circle to the polls on election day for those students who want transportation to the polls.
Pennsylvania Poll Hours
Polls are open from 7:00am to 8:00pm. Be patient if there's a wait. Lines are likely to be long before and after traditional office hours, or around noon, when office workers come to vote. If you’re in line prior to 8:00pm, you’ll be allowed to vote. Don’t expect to vote if you arrive at the polling place after 8:00pm.
Pennsylvania's Election Day ID Requirements
You must show ID if you’re voting for the first time at your designated polling place. The GOTV committee recommends using your Swarthmore College ID or your signed voter registration card, which you’ll receive in the mail after registering. Even if you have voted before, we recommend bringing your College ID in case of any confusion at the polls. Don’t use an out-of-state driver's license as a voter ID.
Possible Election Day Issues
- You go to the wrong polling place. If you end up at the wrong polling place, look up your voter registration information and head to that location. Most likely you went to CADES instead of SRS, or vice versa. Remember, you’re assigned a specific polling location when you register to vote.
- You're told you're not registered. If you go to the voting place for which you’re certain you’re registered but you’re not on their list of registered voters, ask an official for help. If no record of your registration can be found on that day, you should ask to vote a provisional ballot. Provisional ballots permit the county to research your registration. If your valid registration is found, your ballot will be counted. If no valid registration is found, your provisional ballot will NOT be counted and you’ll be informed by letter.
- You're intimidated or challenged. Though unlikely, Swarthmore students may be challenged by other voters who question the authenticity of the student’s Pennsylvania residence or registration. College students are permitted to register to vote based on their residence at school (assuming they otherwise qualify to vote). In general, if anyone makes you feel uncomfortable about coming to vote, ignore them or report them to an Election Judge. All voting places have nonpartisan Election Judges who understand the rules and can defend your right to vote. In some cases, there may be a delay if the election judge needs to work through the Pennsylvania "challenge rules" process. In these cases, expect to provide valid PA voter ID, such as the voter registration card mailed to you and/or your College ID, and otherwise cooperate with the Election Judge.
- If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact Election Protection, a national, nonpartisan coalition that works year-round to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to vote and have that vote count. Call the voter protection hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE or visit their website.