Voting at the Polls: What to Wear and What to Bring

Photo via orbcomm.com

If you are mailing in your ballot or an absentee ballot, you are awesome! If you are voting in-person either on campus or in your home county, you are awesome, too! With voting in-person, there are a little bit more rules and regulations in terms of how you show up at the polls. Luckily, in Pennsylvania, the rules are minimal.

In some states like New York, wearing clothing with any visible political affiliations will get you turned away from the polls. However, you are allowed to wear clothing, buttons, etc. that contain a political viewpoint. This means that while you cannot wear a MAGA hat or Biden T-shirt, you can wear a Ruth Bader Ginsburg pin, gun rights hat, a Black Lives Matter badge or anything that reflects a viewpoint — just not a candidate. In Pennsylvania however, this is not the case.

What can I wear if I am voting in-person in Pennsylvania?

If you are a voter going into the polls, you have almost no limitations on what you can wear. Whether you are supporting a Republican, Democrat, Independent or whoever, you can wear clothing items that reflect your favorite presidential candidate. Individual states are able to create laws that either enable or prohibit certain articles of clothing, Pennsylvania does not.

Just make sure that you know your voting rights in terms of what you are able to wear and do not show up without a shirt or shoes.

Do you have to wear a mask to vote in Pennsylvania?

No. In Pennsylvania, it is considered a violation of the person’s right to vote to deny them due to a local mandate. So, although a mask is not mandatory in a polling place, it is strongly encouraged to protect you and those around you doing their part in the democracy. There will be special protocols in place in case there are voters who decide not to wear a mask. At polling centers, social distancing will be enforced along with sanitation methods to keep voters healthy.

The only exception to this mask rule is Bucks County, Pa. The director for the Bucks County Health Department, Dr. David Damsker, renewed his mask order and is requiring every person in a voting center to be wearing a face covering.

Ok, so what should I bring to vote at a polling location in Pennsylvania?

Well, first and foremost you need to figure out where your polling location is. If you are registered in Pennsylvania, you can find the location here. Once you have that sorted out, just bring a photo or non-photo ID and you cast your vote! Click here to see accepted forms of ID.

The polling locations in Pennsylvania are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. According to votespa, the busiest times at the polls are in the morning and at night, so choose a time that fits best into your day on Nov. 3. If you are in line before or at the exact time polling locations close, you will be allowed to cast your vote.

A lot of college students are going to be first-time voters, at least for a presidential election. While it may seem overwhelming with everything going on in the world, voting is a way to make your voice heard and see the changes you want in this country. Being prepared before Nov. 3 will ensure that you are able to place your vote without any troubles, whether through an absentee ballot or in-person.

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