With less than 60 days until the 2020 presidential election, now is a great time to make sure you’re registered to vote! Regardless of which political party you affiliate with, your vote matters!
Registered in the past?
If you’ve registered in the past, you’re going to want to make sure that your voting status is up to date. Begin by visiting vote.org. Here, you can check if you’re registered at the correct address in less than 30 seconds. In the event that your registration is not confirmed, you can click “What do I do now?” and follow prompts to check directly with your state.
If you registered using an old address, such as your dorm or apartment from last year, be sure to update your registration with the correct address.
How Do I Register?
First, visit vote.gov. It is critical to select the state you intend to vote in because each state has its own rules regarding elections, many of which could be changed due to COVID-19. Vote.gov tells you everything you need to know about your particular state’s guidelines, such as deadlines, your polling place and voting times.
Considering Voting in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania holds a very important part in elections as a swing state. Swing states are states where the two major political parties, Democrat and Republican, hold a similar level of support, thus the state could swing to either party with reasonable probability.
In 2016, swing states Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin were all won by Trump only by a percentage point or less. The Washington Post’s Dan Balz writes, “Just four states are likely to determine the outcome in 2020… Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Florida.”
While most Americans reside at one permanent address, college students are afforded the unique opportunity to vote in either their home state or where they attend college.
If you’re coming from a firmly decided state, that is, a state that usually goes Republican or Democrat, consider registering to vote with your school address. By registering in Pennsylvania, your vote will be more important in the outcome of the election.
Vote By Mail or Absentee Ballot
If you’re registered to vote at your home address, make sure to request an absentee ballot or ensure you will be home to vote on election day.
Keep in mind, your ballot has to travel through the USPS so allot a few business days to ensure your ballot arrives at your county election office in time to be counted. Many states require your ballot to be postmarked by a certain time and day.
Visit vote.org for specific details pertaining to your state’s absentee ballot deadlines.
Voting Information for Pennsylvania
- Registration deadline (including online): Oct. 19
- Absentee/mail-in application deadline: Oct. 27
- Election date: Nov. 3
- Poll hours: 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.
- Absentee ballot must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day.