Stay Engaged: US Census and Preparing to Vote


In the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak and the shared crises caused by it, there are two important ways to stay civically engaged in the democratic processes that affect our lives – Do the U.S. Census and Prepare to Vote.


The results of the U.S. Census 2020 shape public decision-making for the next decade. Help shape your future by doing the Census online. Census Day, which took place on April 1, 2020, is not the deadline. It’s the reference date the U.S. Census Bureau asks respondents to consider when answering the census questionnaire. At the time of this writing, the deadline for responding to the census has been extended and further process changes are pending.

Despite these changes, Penn staff members are encouraged to go to and respond online now. If you received a letter in the mail with a Census ID number, use it. If you don’t have a Census ID number, you can still self-report online.

ON-CAMPUS RESIDENTS:  If you were a resident of Penn’s on-campus housing for the Spring 2020 Semester (the 12 College Houses, Sansom Place, and the 24 University-operated Greek chapter houses), you are counted in the Census by the University by a process called Group Quarters Enumeration. Congrats! Encourage others to go online and self-report.

NON-U.S. CITIZENS: Penn staff and students who are foreign citizens living in or attending college in the United States on April 1, 2020 are encouraged to participate in the census. If you live on-campus, you are counted. Congrats! If you live off-campus, go to to self-report using your off-campus address. You can complete the 10-minute questionnaire in any of 59 languages.


The dates for the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Primary Elections have been moved and mail-in voting access has been expanded to minimize in-person voting.

To vote in PA:

Go to, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s official voter information website, to prepare to vote in the Pennsylvania Primary Election on the new date – Tuesday, June 2, 2020.

  • REGISTER to vote or CHECK YOUR REGISTRATION by May 18, 2020
  • APPLY for a mail-in ballot by May 26, 2020
  • STAY TUNED for updated instructions for in-person voting on June 2, 2020

Here’s how to do it:

  • Register to vote at
  • Verify your registration online at votespa.comif you previously registered to vote in Pennsylvania.
  • Request a mail-in ballot
    • If you have a Pennsylvania Driver’s License or PennDOT ID, apply for a mail-in ballot online at
    • 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.

To vote in NJ:

Go to, the State of New Jersey’s official voter information website, to prepare to vote in the NJ Primary Election on the new date – Tuesday, July 7, 2020.

Nonpartisan voter resources from Penn Leads The Vote (PLTV) can be found at

The University of Pennsylvania Office of Government and Community Affairs is available to answer any questions from our campus community related to Census 2020 and voting. Email or phone 215-898-1388.

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