Census and Voting Information

Census FAQ

  1. I received a message about participating in the U.S. Census. What should I do?

    The U.S. Census Bureau counts students at their college or university. Despite changes to your learning environment as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, Penn students who would have been living on or near campus for the Spring 2020 Semester should count themselves in Philadelphia.

    ON-CAMPUS RESIDENTS:  Wherever you are at this moment, if you were a resident of Penn’s on-campus housing for the Spring 2020 Semester (the 12 College Houses, Sansom Place, and/or the 24 University-operated Greek chapter houses), you will be counted by the University in a process called Group Quarters Enumeration.

    • Please do not fill out the Census form. Penn will do this for you.
    • Please remind your parents not to count you in their Census questionnaire.

    OFF-CAMPUS RESIDENTS:  If you are/were living off campus this semester, you do need to fill out your Census form.

    • Please go to my2020census.gov to self-report using your off-campus address.
    • You do not need a Census ID to self-report. Only you can provide this information. Your landlord cannot report for you.
    • Please remind your parents not to count you in their Census questionnaire.

    STUDY ABROAD STUDENTS: If you were studying abroad this semester but returned to the U.S. before April 1, you should be counted at the place considered your “usual residence.”

    • In most cases, this is your parents’ or guardians’ address.
    • If you do not live with your family, go to my2020census.gov to self-report using the address where you normally live when not enrolled in school.

    NON-U.S. CITIZEN STUDENTS: Penn students who are foreign citizens living and attending college in the United States on April 1, 2020 are encouraged to participate in the census. The 10-minute questionnaire can be completed in 59 languages.

    • If you live/lived on-campus, Penn will include you in the campus count.
    • If you live/lived off-campus, please go to my2020census.gov to self-report using your off-campus address.
  2. How can I learn more about the Census?

    The results of the U.S. Census 2020 shape public decision-making for the next decade.  Learn more at my2020census.gov.

Voting FAQ

  1. How do I vote in the spring primary election?

    If you already registered to vote in Pennsylvania, you can still vote in Pennsylvania. Governor Tom Wolf moved the date for the Pennsylvania Primary Election to Tuesday, June 2, 2020 and expanded mail-in voting access to minimize in-person voting.

    Please go to votespa.com.

    • Apply for a mail-in ballot by May 26, 2020.
    • Vote and return the mail-in ballot in time to be received by the Philadelphia County Board of Elections by June 2, 2020.
  2. I haven’t registered to vote in Pennsylvania, but I want to. Can I?

    Yes. Please go to votespa.com, to prepare to vote in the Pennsylvania Primary Election Tuesday, June 2, 2020.

    Register or confirm registration by May 18, 2020

    • Enter your Spring 2020 Semester on-campus or off-campus address for Item No. 5: Your Address.
    • Enter your current or home address for Item No 6: The Address where you receive mail.   

    Verify your registration online at votespa.com if you previously registered to vote at your on-campus or off-campus address in Philadelphia.

    After you register, apply for a mail-in ballot by May 26, 2020

    • If you have a Pennsylvania Driver’s License or PennDOT ID, apply for a mail-in ballot online at VotesPA.com/ApplyMailBallot.
    • If you do not have a Pennsylvania Driver’s License or PennDOT ID, download and print the mail-in ballot application form. Send the application via U.S. Mail to Philadelphia County Board of Elections, Room 142 City Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

    VOTE and RETURN the mail-in ballot. Post it in the mail in time to be received by the Philadelphia County Board of Elections by June 2, 2020.

  3. How can I get more information about the election and voting?

    Penn Leads The Vote (PLTV) provides students with nonpartisan voter resources.

    The University of Pennsylvania Office of Government and Community Affairs can answer questions related to Census 2020 and the PA Primary Election. Email ogca@pobox.upenn.edu or phone 215-898-1388.

Last updated: April 01, 2020 - 12:26pm