It can be exciting to vote in your first presidential election, but it can also be confusing or intimidating. We, the Drexel Democrats, are committed to providing you all the information that you need to know to cast your vote.
Registering to Vote
In PA, students may register to vote at either their home (ie parents) address, or at their school address.
- School residence: Either your dorm room or apartment.
- Home Residence: Your parents house. If you are already registered here, you can vote either by going home on election day, or with an absentee ballot. More on absentee ballots later.
The deadline for voter registration is 30 days before any election.
How do I register to vote?
You can register to vote either in person or by mail.
- In Person: Go to the Philadelphia County voter registration commission office at 520 N. Delaware Ave. 5th Fl.
Philadelphia, PA 19123-4295 (215) 686-1500
- By Mail: You can obtain a voter registration form from 1) SRC office at drexel, 2) print one at home from http://www.votespa.com/, or 3) from the Drexel Democrats.
If you need to register to vote, the easiest way is to email us and we will arrange to meet you, show you how to fill out the form, and mail it in for you. We run a full service establishment. We also hold voter registration drives on campus.
What information do I need to register to vote?
In addition to the basics (name, age, citizenship), you will need to know the following to register to vote.
- PA drivers license number (or, failing that, the last four digits of your social security number)
- Address at which you wish to register. This cannot be a PO box.
That's it. Pretty easy.
Where do I vote?
Showing up to vote is a pretty important part of the voting process. If you don't know where your polling place is, you can find out at this nifty website. All of the Drexel dorms have the same polling place: The Community Education Center at 3500 Lancaster ave (Across from 7-11).
That's important so I'll be repetitive. If you live in Myers, Van R, North, East, Kelly, Towers, or Calhoun, you vote at the The Community Education Center at 3500 Lancaster ave. The polls are open from 7 am to 8pm. Vote early to avoid lines.
When you vote you will need to bring ID. Valid ID includes your Drexel student ID or your drivers license (or other PENNDOT issued ID card). There are other acceptable forms of ID you can use, and there is a list in this document.
What about absentee voting?
An absentee ballot is a form that allows you to vote by mail, in advance of election day. College students are eligible to vote by absentee ballot if they are out of the district on election day. This means that if you are registered at your parents house, but do not want (or are unable) to go home to vote on election day, you may vote by absentee ballot.
To obtain an absentee ballot you can either contact the board of elections for the county in which you are registered. Alternatively, you can print out the form and mail it in. You can also always contact us and we will assist you.
The last day to request an absentee ballot is the last Tuesday before any election. It is important to note that for both the primary and the general, completed absentee ballots (that contain your votes) must be received by the last friday before the election.
So, to summarize, there are two steps. 1) Request the ballot by mailing in the form. 2) After you receive a ballot, complete it (ie VOTE) and mail it back in so that it arrives by the last friday before the election. Please be careful to fill out the ballot correctly, or Dick Cheney will eat it and it won't be counted (allegedly).
Voting Website (http://www.votespa.com/) from the PA Department of State
Student Voting Guide from the PA Department of State
Absentee Ballot information from the PA Department of State
County Information for every county in PA from the Department of State
Important Election Dates from the PA Department of State
Find your polling place from the PA Department of State
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us through email or by leaving a comment on this post.