Voting: What Seniors Need to Know


Finn Ryan

Seniors who are or will be eighteen by the primary election on May 16 have the opportunity to make their voices heard by voting.  Historically, citizens ages 18-29 have participated with the lowest voting turnout of all age groups.  In 2018, for instance, youth voters represented a mere 13 percent of the electorate, despite constituting “nearly 22 percent of the voting-age population.”  This under-representation at the polls should not be attributed to youth apathy or civic disengagement.  In truth, the demands of voting, including registration and state-based regulations, are often non-conducive to the lifestyles of young people.  For many, the time spent between the ages 18-29 is very transitional with education, moving, job changes, and other typical pursuits.  Nor can we blame Millennials and Gen Z specifically.  In the 1976 election, voters aged 18-29 accounted for just 13 percent of the electorate – just like in 2018.  Other reports also indicate that current civic curriculums, pre-registration laws, and minimal catering by politicians to the youth also discourage voting.

Radnor seniors, you have the power to change this!  Here is what you need to know:

Registering to vote (general information):

The last day to register to vote was Monday, May 1 – below, you’ll find what to expect during the registration process in the future!

How to register:

  • Online
  • By mail
  • In person (at county voter registration office)
  • In person (at Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and some other Government Agencies)

-To be eligible to register to vote, you must be:

  • A U.S. citizen one month prior to the election
  • A Pennsylvania resident one month prior to the election
  • 18 years of age on or before Election Day

-To find out or confirm if you are already registered to vote, visit here

Voting in-person at the polls (May 16, 2023):

-Polling places can be found online

  • After filling out the form, you will find the directions and accessibility criteria for your given polling location

-The polls are open from 7am to 8pm, here’s what to expect:

  • A poll worker will check you in using your voter registration card
  • Follow the poll worker’s instructions carefully, as procedures may change between locations and sessions
  • First time voters will be asked to provide a photo ID
  • Those eligible to vote a regular ballot will be provided a paper ballot or instructed to use a ballot marking device
  • Those ineligible to vote a regular ballot will be provided a provisional ballot

-For a video demonstration of what to expect at the polls, visit here

Absentee and mail-in ballots:

The last day to request an absentee or mail-in ballot is Tuesday, May 9 (5pm)

-Absentee ballot information and definition:

  • “If you plan to be out of the municipality on election day or if you have a disability or illness that prevents you from going to your polling place on election day.”
  • A reason for your ballot must be indicated
  • This is how college students must vote
  • Apply online for an absentee ballot here

-Mail-in ballot information and definition:

  • “Any qualified voter may apply for a mail-in ballot. You may simply request this ballot without a reason.”
  • Apply online for a mail-in ballot here

-Applications for mail-in ballots can be submitted online, at a county election office, or through the mail

-You can requests an automatic annual absentee or mail-in ballot

-You can opt to vote at a polling place if you have and received an absentee or mail-in ballot by voiding the ballot and pre-addressed return envelope at the polls 

-You cannot change your ballot once it is sent to the County Election Board

-Your absentee or mail-in ballot must be received by Tuesday, May 16 (8pm)

Be an informed voter:

-For a voting checklist, visit the Ready to Vote page

-For candidate details, ballot guides, and other personalized voting information visit VOTE411

-Sample ballots can be found here

Important dates and deadlines:

-Last day to register to vote: May 1

-The last day to request an absentee or mail-in ballot: May 9 by 5pm

-Election Day: May 16

  • Absentee and mail-in ballots must be returned by 8 pm

Just like any other habit, voting requires energy and repetition.  Begin that process now and vote!

A voice is a peculiar thing.  You can bellow all you want, but it’s not until someone takes the time to listen that you’ll be heard – and you’re often left with a sore throat.