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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, Pa. on Election Day. Not on campus because you're studying remotely or taking a leave of absence? Consult our helpful resources for how to register to vote and cast your ballot everywhere else.

Pennsylvania's voter registration deadline has passed.

That means you can no longer register to vote, or update your voter registration, in Pennsylvania for the General Election on Nov. 3, 2020. You may still be able to register at your home or permanent address. Consult our voting resources for off-campus students to learn more.

How to Cast Your Ballot

Whether you vote by mail or in person, you should research what will be on your ballot. In 2020, in addition to the presidential election, there are over 95,000 positions on the ballot across the country. 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.

How to Vote by Mail

As part of the College's efforts to limit the exposure of the campus community to COVID-19, the Get Out the Vote Committee encourages students to vote by mail. 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 be registered to vote before you request an mail-in or absentee ballot!

Not sure if you're registered? Confirm your voter registration

How to Apply for a Mail-in or Absentee Ballot

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. 27. However, the Get Out the Vote Committee strongly recommends you request your ballot as soon as possible.  
  • In 2020, 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 postmarked by 8 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3 AND received by the county election office by 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 6.

How to Complete and Return Your Mail-in Ballot

After you've requested your mail-in ballot, you can track the statusOnce 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:

How to Vote in Person

What to know about voting IN SWARTHMORE

Polling locations during the 2020 General Election may be different than in previous years due to COVID-19 safety precautions. On Election Day, confirm your polling location before you depart.

  • Voting in Swarthmore is considered "essential travel" under the Garnet Pledge and is permissible. Students are reminded to wear face masks and follow the CDC's recommendations on "How to Protect Yourself & Others".
  • 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. 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.
  • While the College usually offers rides to polling locations, given COVID-19 safety precautions these rides will not be offered on Election Day, Nov. 3, 2020. 
    • Swarthmore polling places are within easy walking distance from the College. The Get Out the Vote Committee is coordinating Election Day Guides — faculty and staff members — who will be available to walk with students to their respective polling places. More information will be available closer to Election Day.
    • If you require accommodations or assistance to get to a polling location, please contact Pam Shropshire, chair of the Get Out the Vote Committee, at pshrops1@swarthmore.edu
  • 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

Polling Locations

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. 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.
Mertz 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.
Alice Paul 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.
David Kemp 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.
Mary Lyon Western Cerebral Palsy Association of Delaware County (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. 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.
Off-campus housing, south of the tracks and mostly west of Route 320 Western Cerebral Palsy Association of Delaware County (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 Cerebral Palsy Association of Delaware County (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. 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.
Pittinger Western Cerebral Palsy Association of Delaware County (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.
PPR Apartments Western Cerebral Palsy Association of Delaware County (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.
Roberts Western Cerebral Palsy Association of Delaware County (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.
StrathHaven Western Cerebral Palsy Association of Delaware County (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.

Wharton

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.
Willets 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.
Whittier 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.
Woolman 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.
Worth 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.

Voter Registration

How to Register to Vote in Swarthmore

The Pennsylvania voter registration deadline for the General Election was Oct. 19, 2020. You can no longer register to vote in the 2020 General Election in Pennsylvania.

  1. Complete the online registration form by Oct. 19, 2020.
  2. 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:
Include your dorm name in the "Street Address 2" section of 5. Your address on the PA voter registration form

Enter the name of your dorm as the second street address on the Pennsylvania voter registration form.

If you live in Strath Haven, you must use "801 Yale Avenue" as your street address. Don't include your room number.

Democracy Fellows Lily Fournier '23 and Frannie Richardson '23 created this helpful video showing you how to register to vote in Pennsylvania.

How to Update Your Voter Registration in Swarthmore

The deadline to update your voter registration in Pennsylvania has passed. If you moved or changed dorms more than 30 days before an election but did not update your registration, you can vote at the polling place for your old address for one election. Additional guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of State about moving or changing your address close to an election is available at VotesPA.com.

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

Dana

Danawell

Hallowell

Lodges

Mertz

Alice Paul

David Kemp

Off-campus, north of the train tracks

Parrish

Wharton

Willets

Whittier

Woolman

Worth

Mary Lyon

Off-campus, south of the train tracks and mostly west of Route 320

Palmer

Pittenger

PPR Apartments

Roberts

StrathHaven

 

Off-campus, south of the train tracks and mostly east of Route 320

How to Confirm Your Registration

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.