Penn urges students, faculty, and staff to get out and vote on Election Day

Penn is encouraging greater participation by students, faculty, and staff in the electoral process.

The Penn Voter Education Task Force, an initiative of the Office of Government and Community Affairs (OGCA), aims to increase voter registration, as well as provide reminders to go to the polls or vote by absentee ballot.

“We want to remind people that Election Day happens twice a year, not once every four years,” says Gina Lavery, associate director of OGCA.

Traditionally, interest in elections is heightened during the year of a Presidential election, but during midterm elections, voter turnout is low. The Task Force is encouraging everyone in the Penn community to vote “twice a year, every year” when local elections are held.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 4. In Pennsylvania, voters will elect the governor, lieutenant governor, and members of the State Senate and the U.S. and state House of Representatives.

College House residents will be able to cast their ballots at one of the seven polling places on campus. The locations are Vance Hall, Hill College House, Harrison College House, Harnwell College House, Houston Hall, the Penn Center for Rehabilitation and Care at 3609 Chestnut St., and Civic House.

The Task Force is looking for volunteers who can serve on the Board of Elections at campus polling places. Volunteers must be registered to vote in Philadelphia. Anyone who has not already registered to vote—the deadline was Oct. 6—or is registered to vote outside of the city can still participate in Election Day activities on campus by handing out flyers with voting information and directing voters to polling stations.

“It’s a great hands-on experience on how democracy works from a technical standpoint,” says Jessica McIlhenny, administrative coordinator of OGCA and coordinator of the Task Force.

The Task Force will be at the annual Employee Resource Fair in Houston Hall on Monday, Oct. 13, from noon to 2 p.m.

For more information about the Penn Voter Education Task Force or to volunteer on Election Day, contact the Office of Government and Community Affairs at

Penn Voter Education Task Force