The midterm elections will be held on Nov. 6, and voter turnout is likely to be the highest it has been since the mid-1960s. For students who have registered and will be voting in Pennsylvania, The Daily Pennsylvanian has broken down what to expect at the polls.
Polling locations are open on Nov. 6 from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. in Pennsylvania. But as long as you are in line at the time the polls close, you will still be allowed to vote.
Where to go:
Once registered in Pennsylvania, voters will receive a registration card in the mail. This ID will have the address of their designated polling place. For Penn students, the closest polling locations include Harnwell College House, Harrison College House, The Arch Café, Vance Hall, and Houston Hall Reading Room.
In years past, several polling locations have included Houston Hall and several college houses. Voters may also look up polling locations closest to them through online tools. University City mostly falls in Philadelphia county.
What to bring:
First time voters in Pennsylvania are required to bring a photo ID to the polling location. Student ID is a valid photo ID in Pennsylvania. In the event that the voter cannot produce photo ID, some non-photo IDs containing name and address such as current bank statements and utility bills are also accepted.
What to do:
Upon entrance, you will first be made to sign a certificate by an elections officer. Following that you will be led to a polling machine. The polling machines used in Philadelphia County will display a red blinking light under all possible candidates and office choices to indicate the possible boxes in which to vote.
To make a choice, voters must press the X in the box to the right of the candidate, as indicated in this sample ballot. Voters are able to unselect and reselect choices during the time the red light is on and blinking.
Voters will be given the choice to cast a "straight political party ticket" by pressing the X in the box to the right of the desired political party name.
This year, voters will also be asked to cast a "yes" or "no" answer to a city bond question which asks if the city of Philadelphia should borrow $181 million for investment in infrastructure projects such as streets, parks, and municipal buildings.
Once the choices have been made, the red blinking light below the candidates chosen will switch off. After this, voters may cast their vote by pressing the green “VOTE” button at the bottom of the machine.
How to prepare before:
It is highly recommended that voters familiarize themselves with the candidates running for office and their campaigns in advance. It is also important to know which candidates are incumbents and currently hold the office for the position in question.
Students voting in Pennsylvania can find the list of candidates running for PA office on the Philadelphia county website.
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