The Student’s Guide to the Midterm Elections:


Courtesy of Villanova University

Stephen Prager

The 2018 mid-term elections will be the first voting experience for many Villanova students. It is an experience that comes during what is possibly the most pivotal election in modern American history. When this crop of new voters finally throws its hat into the ring on November 6, it will be tasked with deciding the future of our Nation’s most trying issues and institutions.

The commitment to civic duty is an essential part of entering the adult world, and voting is one of the easiest ways to exercise it. However, the nature of college life makes voting somewhat more complex and arduous than it ordinarily would be for most Americans.  This is especially true for students who have not voted while enrolled at the University.  

However, those who find the process overwhelming should not be discouraged.  There are simple answers to the new voter’s most pertinent questions.

How to register on and off-campus:

In Pennsylvania, there are four main avenues of voting registration: online, by mail, at a county registration office, or at a local government agency (such as PennDOT).  

  The simplest way to register is by using Pennsylvania’s online voter registration form.  When using this form, one will be asked to provide a name, address, some basic demographic information (such as race and gender), as well as party identification.  

Registration with a political party is not required and has no bearing on one’s ability to vote in a general election.  However, because Pennsylvania has a closed primary system, this means that only party members may vote in their respective party’s primary election.  

One will also need to provide a PennDOT driver’s license or ID number, or one will need to provide the last four digits of a Social Security number.  If one would prefer to mail a paper copy of this form, he or she may download a printable version.  He or she may also deliver it by hand to a county voter registration office or a local PennDOT facility. 

Additionally, one may choose to register using one’s Villanova address.  If one does so, one should include the residence hall and room number in the address (e.g. 800 Lancaster Avenue, 101 Stanford Hall, Villanova, PA, 19805).

  After the form is submitted, it will be reviewed by a county elections official.  Within 14 days of submitting one’s registration form, one should receive one’s voter registration card in the mail.

  Regardless of what method one chooses, one must register to vote by Oct.

How to cast an absentee ballot:

Those registered to vote somewhere other than Villanova may not be able to vote at a designated polling place on Nov. 6.  In order for one’s vote to count at the location in which he or she is registered, you will need to cast an absentee ballot.  Each state has its own forms and requirements for voting absentee.  More information about your state’s requirements can be found at

What to do on election day:

 Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 6. In Pennsylvania, it is standard for the polls to be open between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m..  If one is voting at a polling place that he have voted at before, one does not need to bring any form of ID.  If one is voting in a new district, or if this is one’s first time voting, acceptable IDs include a driver’s license, U.S. passport; military, student, or employee ID; voter registration card, firearm permit, current utility bill, bank, statement, paycheck or government check. Villanova is providing shuttles to voting locations. Shuttles will run from 1 – 6 p.m. and leave every 30 minutes from these locations:

Main and West Campus Residents – Lot S-5 between the Septa Station and the Law School and South Campus Residents – Shuttle stop at Good Counsel Hall.