PSA: How To Vote On And Off Campus
Listen up, Owls! Elections are a big deal. They’re huge. They’re bigger than a Richie’s egg and cheese, so you know it’s real. Whether it’s presidential or midterm elections, it’s always important to exercise your right to vote for the candidates who support your issues. From registering to vote to submitting absentee ballots, here are some tips for how to vote on and off campus. Remember: Your vote matters. Always. Just like your fave breakfast sandwiches.
Register to vote
If it’s your first time voting, you probs have a lot of questions and that’s totally OK. First, it’s important to make sure you’re registered before the cut-off date. It varies from state to state, but registration deadlines are typically 30 days before Election Day. Although it’s too late to register in PA for this midterm, you can register for the next election.
Most states will mail you a voter card to confirm that you are registered and will include your designated polling place. In Pennsylvania, it is not required for you to bring your ID to the polls. Also, you have the choice where you register to vote. You can do it either at your temporary address or your home address.
Find your polling place
Just like food trucks, there’s plenty of places around campus to vote. Live off campus, or commute from home and live in Pennsylvania? You can use the Department of State’s polling place search tool to find your polling place before Election Day. If you’re from out of state, you can also check your voter registration online or call your local county board of elections. FYI, most Pennsylvania polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the busiest times of day to vote are in the morning and evening. If you can, try to vote at times when there aren’t a lot of peeps. Pro tip: if you’re in line by the time the polls close, you must be allowed to cast your vote.
Know what you’re voting for
It’s always good to review the candidates and measures that are on the ballot and plan your votes in advance. Check out this sample ballot on the Pennsylvania county election office website. If you’re from out of state, check out your state’s election office website to find information about candidates and their policies. Rock the Vote provides information about other ballot measures you’ll be voting on in your state election.
Submit your absentee ballot
If you’re far from home or can’t physically make it to your polling place on Election Day, you can submit an absentee ballot. They’re paper ballots that can be sent to you by mail, which you mark and cast your ballot by returning it your state’s county election office. FYI, the last day to apply for an absentee ballot is always the Tuesday before Election Day. You can find out more at USA.gov.
For those with disabilities, Temple has many resources. Check out their Pennsylvania Voter Resources guide.