Absentee Voting

 

What is absentee voting?

  • The way a person who cannot go to a Polling Place on Election Day can vote.
  • A person can vote absentee by mail or at the county Department's office. People who want to vote at the county Department's office must make an appointment by calling the office. Click here for contact information.
  • The Department of Elections for each county has responsibility for conducting Public School Elections as specified in Delaware Code, Title 14. The school districts for which each Department of Elections is responsible is listed on the School District Responsibility Page. Mailing addresses and other contact information for the Departments of Elections for each county is on the Contact Information page.

Return to Top

Who can vote by absentee ballot?

To vote by Absentee Ballot in public school elections, you must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States;
  • Be a resident and citizen of the State of Delaware;
  • Reside within the school district for which the election is being conducted;
  • Be 18 years of age or older; and
  • Complete and sign an Absentee Ballot Application for Public School Elections; and
  • Be unable to go to the polls on the day of the election for one of the reasons listed below.

Return to Top

Reasons to vote by absentee ballot

  • You are temporarily or permanently physically disabled.
  • You are in the public service of the U.S. or the State of Delaware.
  • You are a qualified citizen, spouse, or dependent residing with or accompanying a person who is in the service of the U. S. or the State of Delaware.
  • Due to the nature of your business or occupation.
  • You are sick.
  • You are incarcerated.
  • Due to the tenets of your religion.
  • You are absent from the district while you are on vacation.
  • You are temporarily residing outside of the U.S. and the District of Columbia.
  • Due to illness or injury received while serving in the Armed Forces of the United States.
  • You are a member of the armed forces.
  • You are a member of the American Red Cross or U.S.O.
  • You are a member of the U.S. Merchant Marine.
  • Per item number 3 of “Section G. Elections” of the Sixth Revision to the Twenty-Seventh Modification: State of Emergency Declaration regarding COVID-19 restrictions in the State of Delaware, last updated on February 4, 2021 and effective until the order is rescinded, voters may use the reason of “sick or physically disabled” as qualification for voting by absentee ballot in any school or municipal elections in 2021. A voter is permitted to choose the reason of sick/disabled for voting by absentee ballot if he/she is:
    1. Sick with COVID-19, or
    2. Asymptomatic (positive for COVID-19, but experiencing no symptoms of the virus), or
    3. Self-Quarantining or practicing Social Distancing to avoid exposure to the virus, or
    4. freely deciding to select the reason of sick/disabled to vote by absentee ballot.

Return to Top

What are the deadlines?

  • Return the application 4 days before the election by 12 Noon if you want your ballot mailed to you.
  • You can vote in our office before 12 Noon the day before the election if you have made an appointment.
  • Return the voted ballot to our office before 8 p.m. on Election Day.
  • Refer to the School Election Calendar for details.

Return to Top

How can I get an absentee ballot application?

The most convenient method for registered voters to request a school election absentee ballot (school board and referendum) is to visit the voter portal: https://ivote.de.gov. The Department sends Absentee ballots for school elections by U.S. Mail because the Delaware Code does not permit electronic delivery or return of school election ballots.



Fillable/Downloadable Absentee Ballot Applications

1. This was designed for and works best if you have Adobe Reader as your default PDF viewer. Other PDF viewers may provide similar capabilities.

2. Fill out the ballot application completely. You must sign the form.

  • In Adobe Reader, select at the top of the page, use one of the two methods to sign the form, then select “Attach to email”, and send the email to the Department of Elections Office in your county, or

  • In other PDF viewers, select the sign function, sign the form, and then select “Attach to email” and send the email to the Department of Elections Office in your county, or

  • Print the form, sign it and then return it to the Department of Elections Office in your county by email, FAX or mail

3. You will receive your ballot in the mail. When it arrives, complete it by filling in oval next to your choice(s) with a pen with dark blue or black ink

4. Fold and put the voted ballot in the Return Envelope received with the ballot, moisten the return envelope flap – DON’T LICK, seal the envelope, read the oath on the envelope, sign the oath, and drop the envelope in U.S. Mail. (NOTE: The envelope is addressed & return postage is paid.)


Please Note: Absentee ballot requests for school elections are fulfilled by U.S. Mail. After your ballot application is received and processed by your elections, you will receive your ballot, instructions for completing your ballot, and a postage-paid return envelope.



Note:

If this does not work on your computer, you also may download the completed form & then attach it to an email to your county elections office, or print out the form, complete it, and then scan it or take a photo & email it back to your county elections office:

To open and view the form, you need to have a pdf reader such as Adobe Reader


Note:

If you have trouble viewing the absentee ballot application, contact the Department of Elections for your county for assistance.

  • Kent County Office: 302-739-4498
  • New Castle County Office: 302-577-3464
  • Sussex County Office: 302-856-5367


Return to Top

Will you mail an absentee ballot to me?

Yes, if:

  • The Department gets your application at least 4 days before the election;
  • Your application is filled out and signed by you; and
  • You are eligible to vote in the election.

Return to Top

Will a permanent absentee voter be sent a absentee ballot for school board elections?

  • No, because permanent absentee status applies only to Primary, General, and Special elections. Please submit an absentee ballot application.

Return to Top

Can I vote at your office?

Yes, if you:

  • Call to make an appointment to vote between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. on normal business days, or before 12 Noon the day before the election.
  • Bring a government issued photo ID - Drivers license, State ID card, Passport, etc.

Return to Top

How do I return my voted ballot?

By mail:

  • Obtain an Absentee Ballot Application for Public School Elections from the Department of Elections for the county conducting the election. You may pick up an affidavit at the respective Department or request in writing or by telephone that the Department mail an affidavit to you. Affidavits requested prior to 4 p.m. will in most circumstances be mailed the same day. Some counties provide a downloadable Affidavit.
  • Complete and return the Absentee Ballot Application for Public School Elections so that it arrives at the Department of Elections for the county conducting the election no later than noon the 4th day prior to the election. The Department of Elections for the county conducting the election will mail you the Absentee Ballot for the appropriate public school election as soon as the ballot is available.
  • Complete and return the ballot so that it arrives at the Department of Elections for the county conducting the election no later than 8 p.m. the day of the election. Ballots received after 8 p.m. on the day of the election will not be counted.

In person:

  • Go to the Department of Elections for the county conducting the election with proof of identity and address on any normal business day between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. until two days before the day of the election and between 8:30 a.m. and 12 Noon on the day before the election.
  • Present proof of identity and address to the Department of Elections staff member.
  • Complete an Absentee Ballot Application for Public School Elections.
  • Vote your ballot.

Hints about the process

  • Obtain and submit your Absentee Ballot Application for Public School Elections as soon as possible but no later than 10 days before the election.
  • Put your phone number and e-mail address on the application so that Department staff can contact you quickly if there is a problem with the application that you submitted.
  • If there is less than a week before the election, go to the the respective Department of Elections to vote in person.
  • Contact the Department of Elections conducting the election if you do not receive your ballot within a reasonable time.
  • Follow the instructions on completing and mailing your ballot. Make sure that the Voucher Envelope (the one that you date and sign) is sealed, and that you date it and sign it.
  • Put the ballot in the mail in sufficient time so that it will arrive at the Department of Elections conducting the election before the day of the election. If you do not think that there is sufficient time for the mail system to get the the ballot to the Department of Elections conducting the election, deliver it to the Department or have someone deliver it to the Department for you.

Return to Top

What if I have a problem?

Return to Top

How can I contact the Department?

Return to Top

How do I find out if you counted my ballot?

Return to Top

Elections