A Chatham student resource for voting on Nov. 3 in the 2020 presidential election

If you plan on voting today, whether that be in person or dropping off your mail-in ballot, the below information can help with voting and the post-election process.

Pennsylvania’s voting results will most likely not be available by the end of election night, as is considered the norm during past presidential elections.

“Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are the only two swing states where officials can begin processing and counting the millions of absentee ballots only on Election Day, likely delaying complete results for several days,” said NPR on Oct. 19.

As students wait to hear the election result from Pennsylvania, and other states, they can attend Chatham events and utilize University resources.

Election tips and information

Visit Votes PA for information on the following topics and more:

Voting in person

1. You cannot vote by turning in your mail-in or absentee ballot at a polling place. If you bring your ballot and preaddressed outer return envelope to a polling place, it will be voided, and you can vote after you surrender your ballot and envelope. Sign a declaration, and then vote by regular ballot.

2. Do not wear politically affiliated merchandise to the polls. This can include a hat, t-shirt, mask, backpack, shoelaces, or any other clothing on your body. This is viewed as a form of voting intimidation and can prevent you from being able to vote.

“No person, when within the polling place, shall electioneer or solicit votes for any political party, political body or candidate, nor shall any written or printed matter be posted up within the said room, except as required by this act,” the Pennsylvania election code states.  “All persons, except election officers, clerks, machine inspectors, overseers, watchers, persons in the course of voting, persons lawfully giving assistance to voters, and peace and police officers, when permitted by the provisions of this act, must remain at least ten (10) feet distant from the polling place during the progress of the voting.”

3. Follow basic health and safety guidelines at the polls. Maintain a 6-foot distance and wear a mask.

4. Do not interfere in the election process or loiter at a polling location.

The official rules set forth by the Pennsylvania Department of State on poll watching are listed on this online document.

Dropping off ballots

1. In Pennsylvania, make sure to follow these ballot rules to ensure your vote is counted.

  • Place the ballot in both envelopes. First seal the ballot in the secrecy envelope and then place it in the mail envelope.
  • Mark ballot in blue or black ink.
  • Fully fill in circles, but don’t go beyond the printed circle.
  • Make sure to sign the voter declaration on the back of the return envelope and match the signature that was used to register to vote.

2. Only the person who filled out the ballot can drop it off.

3. Once you drop off your mail-in or absentee ballot, you may not vote in person at your polling place.

4. You can drop off your ballot at the downtown drop box at the Allegheny County Elections Office, located at 542 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa., 15219.


Chatham’s outreach

In an email from Dr. David Finegold, President of Chatham University, on Nov. 2, Finegold encouraged students of the University to vote.

“To support this goal and our mission of civic & community engagement, I was pleased to recently sign (along with over 300 colleges and universities) the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, a program striving to engage students in electoral participation and achieve 100% eligible student voter participation in all elections,” Dr. Finegold said.

“Whatever the outcome (especially if delayed), I trust that our community will continue to be respectful of each other’s political views, avoid personal vilification, and maintain a dedication to the rights, safety, dignity and value of every individual at Chatham.”

The email linked other resources from other Chatham organizations. The Pennsylvania Center for Women & Politics, the Office of Student Engagement, Counseling Services and the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion all provide events or resources that focus on the election.

Chatham has established a page at Pulse@Chatham which gives tips on how to be a safe and informed voter. The page also lists events on campus pertaining to the election.

If in need of counseling due to the election, Dean of Students, Heather Black, sent a comprehensive email on Nov. 2, focusing on how to utilize the University’s counseling resources.

To schedule an appointment call 412-365-1282 or email [email protected]. While students typically need an appointment, those in distress or who urgently need to speak with a counselor have an option to use the walk-in services. Due to the election, counseling services will operate with extended hours (9 a.m. to 7 p.m.) from Nov. 2 to Nov. 13. More information on this service, and other services, can be found on MyChatham.

Additional information on Chatham’s outreach surrounding the 2020 presidential election can be found here.

Have you voted in the 2020 presidential election?

  • Yes (100%, 3 Votes)
  • No (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 3

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