Voting Resources for On-Campus Students
The resources below explain how to register to vote, confirm your registration, and cast your ballot if you will be on campus or in Swarthmore on Election Day.
How to Register to Vote in Swarthmore
The Pennsylvania voter registration deadline for the General Election is Oct. 18, 2021.
If you have a valid PA Driver’s License or PennDOT ID number, you can register online by October 18, 2021. OR
If you don’t have PA ID numbers, you’ll need to download a paper application form and mail it to the Delaware County Board of Elections so that it is received by October 18, 2021.
- When registering in Swarthmore, you MUST use your dorm name as place of residence. Simply listing the College's mailing address is not enough, as there are two polling places that serve our campus. Which one you go to depends on which dorm you live in. Section 5 of your online form should look like this:
If you previously registered to vote in Swarthmore, you may need to update your voter registration. If you registered to vote while living in a dorm listed in one column in the chart below and have moved to a residence listed in a different column, you should re-register to vote. If you have moved to a dorm within the same column, you are still assigned to the same polling location and do not need to re-register.
For example, if you moved from Dana to Wharton, you do not need to re-register, because you are still served by the northern voting precinct. But if you moved from Dana to PPR Apartments, you do need to re-register, because your polling location has changed.
|NORTHERN PRECINCT REsidences||WESTERN PRECINCT Residences||EASTERN PRECINCT Residences|
Off-campus, north of the train tracks
Off-campus, south of the train tracks and mostly west of Route 320
|Off-campus, south of the train tracks and mostly east of Route 320|
After you register or change your registration, you will receive a card in the mail confirming your registration, address, and designated voting location. It may take about 14 days to receive the mailing. If you don't get it within 14 days of submitting your registration, or if you have another question specific to your attempt to register, please follow up. You can check your PA voter registration status online or call the Delaware County Voter Registration Office at 610-891-4659.
Whether you vote by mail or in person, you'll may want to research what will be on your ballot. If you vote in Swarthmore, you will also need to vote for PA Treasurer, PA Auditor General, PA Attorney General, PA House of Representative, and US House of Representatives. 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.
In Pennsylvania, there are two options for mail ballots.
- Absentee ballot: If you plan to be out of the municipality on Election Day or if you have a disability or illness, you should request this ballot type, which requires you to list a reason why you're requesting an absentee ballot.
- Mail-in ballot: If you aren’t an absentee voter, you may apply for a mail-in ballot. Any voter registered in Pennsylvania may request this type of ballot; you do not need to have a reason. Students may find the mail-in ballot process to be easier to navigate than the absentee one.
- Interested in voting by mail, but not sure which options works for you? VotesPA offers additional explanation and resources on the types of mail ballots.
You must submit your voter registration and receive confirmation that you are registered to vote in Pennsylvania before you request an mail-in or absentee ballot!
How to Apply for a Mail-in or Absentee Ballot
- If you’re a registered voter with a valid Pennsylvania Driver’s License or PennDOT ID number, you may apply for either option online. Once approved, you will receive an email when the ballot is mailed to you.
- If you are registered to vote in Pennsylvania but do not have one of these ID numbers, you will need to download a paper application and mail it to the Delaware County Board of Elections. Contact information for election officials.
Democracy Fellows Lily Fournier '23 and Frannie Richardson '23 created this helpful video showing you how to vote by mail in Pennsylvania.
Vote by Mail Deadlines
- Applications for mail-in or absentee ballots must be received by the county election office by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 26.
Pennsylvania mail-in ballots can be returned two ways. Either by mail or in person to the county election office or other official designated location, such as a ballot dropbox, by 8 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday. If you mail in your ballot, it must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 2.
How to Vote by Mail
After you've requested your mail-in ballot, you can track the status. Once you receive your mail-in ballot, the Get Out the Vote Committee recommends completing it and mailing or dropping it off as soon as possible. A few important reminders about completing your mail-in ballot:
What to know about voting IN SWARTHMORE
On Election Day, confirm your polling location before you depart.
- Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Be patient if there's a wait. Lines are likely to be especially long at times before and after traditional office hours, or around noon, when office workers come to vote. If you are in line prior to 8 p.m. you will be allowed to vote. Do not expect to vote if you arrive at the polling place after 8 p.m.
- Polling locations.
- All the voting locations are within easy walking distance from the College. Your polling location is based on your dorm.
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.
- 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 will receive 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.
Possible In-Person voting scenarios
- You're in 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 are 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 are certain you are registered but you are 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 will 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 students' Pennsylvania residence or registration. College students are indeed 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 Pennsylvania 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: 866ourvote.org
When you registered to vote in Swarthmore you were assigned a polling location based on your dorm. You must vote at the assigned polling precinct. Locate your polling location. Please note: due to COVID-19, polling locations may change. Confirm your polling location before you leave to go vote on Election Day.
|RESIDENCE Hall||POLLING PRECINCT||LOCATION ADDRESS||DIRECTIONS|
|Dana||Northern||Swarthmore-Rutledge School (SRS), 100 College Ave.||SRS is down the hill of College Ave. Cross at the light and continue past the athletic fields on the right. This is a 5-10 minute walk from Parrish.|
|Danawell||Northern||Swarthmore-Rutledge School (SRS), 100 College Ave.||SRS is down the hill of College Ave. Cross at the light and continue past the athletic fields on the right. This is a 5-10 minute walk from Parrish.|
|Hallowell||Northern||Swarthmore-Rutledge School (SRS), 100 College Ave.||SRS is down the hill of College Ave. Cross at the light and continue past the athletic fields on the right. This is a 5-10 minute walk from Parrish.|
|Lodges||Northern||Swarthmore-Rutledge School (SRS), 100 College Ave.|
|Mertz||Northern||Swarthmore-Rutledge School (SRS), 100 College Ave.|
|Alice Paul||Northern||Swarthmore-Rutledge School (SRS), 100 College Ave.|
|David Kemp||Northern||Swarthmore-Rutledge School (SRS), 100 College Ave.|
|Mary Lyon||Western||Children and Adult Disability and Educational Services (CADES), 401 Rutgers Ave.||Go down Rutgers Ave (starts next to the PNC Bank). Cross Harvard and Yale. Continue up the next block, you'll see the CADES building on your left. This is a 15-20 minute walk from Parrish and a 10-15 minute walk from Mary Lyon.|
|Off-campus, north of the tracks||Northern||Swarthmore-Rutledge School (SRS), 100 College Ave.|
|Off-campus housing, south of the tracks and mostly west of Route 320||Western||Children and Adult Disability and Educational Services (CADES), 401 Rutgers Ave.||Go down Rutgers Ave (starts next to the PNC Bank). Cross Harvard and Yale. Continue up the next block, you'll see the CADES building on your left. This is a 15-20 minute walk from Parrish and a 10-15 minute walk from Mary Lyon.|
|Off-campus housing, south of the tracks and mostly east of 320||Eastern||Swarthmore Borough Hall, 121 Park Ave.||This is the same building as the Swarthmore Public Library in the Ville.|
|Palmer||Western||Children and Adult Disability and Educational Services(CADES), 401 Rutgers Ave.||Go down Rutgers Ave (starts next to the PNC Bank). Cross Harvard and Yale. Continue up the next block, you'll see the CADES building on your left. This is a 15-20 minute walk from Parrish and a 10-15 minute walk from Mary Lyon.|
|Parrish||Northern||Swarthmore-Rutledge School (SRS), 100 College Ave.|
|Pittinger||Western||Children and Adult Disability and Educational Services (CADES), 401 Rutgers Ave.|
|PPR Apartments||Western||Children and Adult Disability and Educational Services (CADES), 401 Rutgers Ave.|
|Roberts||Western||Children and Adult Disability and Educational Services (CADES), 401 Rutgers Ave.|
|StrathHaven||Western||Children and Adult Disability and Educational Services (CADES), 401 Rutgers Ave.|
|Northern||Swarthmore-Rutledge School (SRS), 100 College Ave.|
|Willets||Northern||Swarthmore-Rutledge School (SRS), 100 College Ave.|
|Whittier||Northern||Swarthmore-Rutledge School (SRS), 100 College Ave.|
|Woolman||Northern||Swarthmore-Rutledge School (SRS), 100 College Ave.|
|Worth||Northern||Swarthmore-Rutledge School (SRS), 100 College Ave.|