Election 2020 Update Graphic

Across the country, people are preparing to cast their vote in the 2020 presidential election on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Here’s what to expect if you plan to vote in person at Penn State.

Voting locations on-campus

The primary voting location for Penn State students registered to vote at University Park is the Bryce Jordan Center.

Students living in the White Course Apartments, who will be voting in the HUB-Robeson Center, are the only exception to this.

According to a Penn State news release, the Centre County Board of Elections approved the temporary change of polling locations for Precinct 24 and Precinct 44-2 from the HUB to the BJC on Sept. 22.

Additionally, the Board of Elections partnered with Penn State to make the BJC a satellite election location where voters registered in Centre County could have their mail-in or absentee ballot applications processed in person. 

Voting locations off-campus

Individuals who are registered to vote in Pennsylvania outside of University Park can find their polling location via the commonwealth’s online polling place locator.

Those registered to vote outside of Pennsylvania can find their state’s polling place locator here.

According to Penn State Student Affairs’ website, individuals who need transportation to their polling locations within State College or the surrounding area can utilize the Centre Area Transportation Authority’s bus system.

The website also said all Pennsylvania voting locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

What to bring with you

If an individual is voting in their precinct in Pennsylvania for the first time, some form of identification — photo or non-photo — will be required.

According to Student Affairs’ registration and voting guide, valid forms of photo identification in Pennsylvania include a driver’s license, PennDOT ID card, an ID issued by any commonwealth agency or the United States government, a U.S. passport, a U.S. Armed Forces ID or a student or employee ID.

Valid forms of non-photo ID include confirmations issued by one’s county voter registration office, a non-photo ID issued by the commonwealth or U.S. government, a firearm permit, a current utility bill, a current bank statement, a current paycheck or a government check.

What you can have with you while voting

Student Affairs’ registration and voting guide also said Pennsylvania voters are permitted to bring campaign literature, notes and electronic devices into the voting booth with them.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, the Kraft v. Harhut court case restricts individuals from actively campaigning inside of or within 10 feet outside of the polling location.

Coronavirus protocol at the polls

Via its website, the Centre County Board of Elections encouraged voters to wear a mask while in the polling location, but said it cannot mandate anyone to do so.

All poll workers, however, will be required to wear a mask and utilize sneeze guards.

Additional coronavirus mitigation procedures in place in Centre County include having hand sanitizer at the entrance to the polling location, maintaining a six-feet separation between each voter in line and poll workers wiping down the voting booths and tables after each use.

Each voter will also be given their own pen to mark their ballot, which they can then keep.

Arrival at the polling location

According to the BJC’s website, voters can find temporary parking in front of the Ticket Office or the ADA Lot near Gate B.

Voters will be directed to enter the BJC through Gate A.

The Pennsylvania government website — Votes PA — said voters should follow the guidance of the poll workers at their polling location upon arrival, seeing as the check-in process may have changed since the last election.

Votes PA also said most polling locations in Centre County use hand-marked paper ballots, but some use ES&S ExpressVote 2.1 devices. In both cases, the DS 200 Precinct Scanner will be used to cast the completed vote.

Voters who have any questions on Election Day can ask the polling workers present at their voting location. Votes PA said each of these individuals have been trained to keep votes confidential.


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Quincey Reese is a news features and investigations reporter for The Daily Collegian. She is a sophomore majoring in digital and print journalism with a minor in psychology.