Your guide to Voting by Mail


The quickest and most convenient way to request a Vote By Mail (VBM) ballot is to visit the voter portal, iVote, and follow the instructions there to request a ballot.

Voting by Mail Application


To request a Vote By Mail (VBM) ballot and Vote By Mail cover letter

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)



What is Vote By Mail (VBM)?

  • Vote By Mail (VBM) is the option to by requesting and returning a ballot by mail, instead of voting in person at your assigned polling place. If you’ve ever voted by absentee ballot, the process for VBM is very similar. Unlike absentee voting, you do not need a reason to request a VBM ballot.

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What’s the difference between absentee and VBM?

  • A reason is required to vote by absentee ballot. These reasons include being sick, disabled, or being on vacation, and are defined by law. (A full list of reasons is available here voting absentee.) No reason is required to vote by mail. Functionally, however, the process is very similar. The voter requests (through an application) a ballot from the Department of Elections, receives the ballot, fills out the ballot and returns it to the Department.

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Do I need an excuse (work, travel, sick) to VBM?

  • No. Any registered voter eligible to vote in the September 15, 2020 State Primary Election or the November 3, 2020 General Election is eligible to vote by mail. Please note: Only registered Republicans and Democrats are eligible to vote in the State Primary Election.

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What do I do if I've moved to an address different than is on my voter registration?

  • Please let Elections know if you’ve updated your address and update your record with us as soon as you can. The best way to do so is via the voter portal, iVote.de.gov You may also reach us by phone . If you receive the VBM mailing and need to update your contact information, please make updates on the VBM form and return the form.

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Do I need to have a VBM application or ballot notarized?

  • There is no notary requirement for either the application or the ballot.

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When will I receive my VBM ballot?

  • Your country elections office begins mailing out VBM ballots thirty (30) days to prior to an election for which you have requested a ballot. If you’re sending in your ballot request in less than thirty (30) days prior to the election, your country elections office will get your VBM ballot out to you as soon as possible.

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What's the deadline for returning my VBM application, and ballot? (State Primary and General Election)

  • The last day VBM ballots will be mailed to you is four (4) days before the election, which is the Friday before the election. For the 2020 State Primary Election, this date is Friday, 9/11/20. For the General Election, this date is Friday, 10/30/20. Be sure to return your completed VBM application to the Department of Elections by then. It’s best to mail the completed application back to the Department of Elections as soon as possible but in any event be sure to return your completed VBM application to the Department by those deadlines.

  • Please remember that your voted VBM ballotmust be returned to the county elections office that issued the ballot by the time polls close on Election Day (8:00 PM). Ballots may be dropped off in person at your county elections office no later than 8:00 PM on Election Day. A secure ballot drop box will be provided in each county elections office.

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How do I request for VBM ballot?

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Do I need to request VBM ballots for both the 2020 State Primary Election and the 2020 General Election?

  • Yes, though you can request VBM for both elections on one application. Check all necessary boxes on the application.
  • If you are a registered Democrat or Republican, and have not requested a ballot for the September 15, 2020 State Primary Election or the November 3, 2020 General Election, please complete and return your VBM application form and indicate for which election(s) you are requesting a ballot be mailed to you.

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If I already am in the system as a "permanent absentee" voter, of if I’ve already requested ballots to be mailed for the remaining elections this year, do I need to do anything?

  • If you already signed up to receive an absentee ballot for an election, you will automatically receive a ballot for any election in which you are qualified to vote. If you do not receive a ballot, please contact the Elections office for your county.

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What happens if I request and receive a VBM ballot, but I do not return it before Election Day? Can I still vote in person at my polling place?

  • Yes, you may still vote in person. When you arrive at your polling place, an election officer (poll worker) will contact the Department of Elections. Your unreturned VBM ballot will be voided, and you will be allowed to vote in person at the polling place.

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Can I vote online?

  • No, online voting is not permissible under current State law. However, under the provisions of State law for absentee voting (not VBM), some people are eligible to receive and return their absentee ballots electronically (by fax or email attachment). Specifically, voters in the military or their family members, other voters (non-military) living overseas, and those voters who are sick or physically disabled are qualified to do this. If you qualify, complete the appropriate section on the VBM application mailed to you, or visit iVote.de.gov.

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Where can I vote in person?

  • VBM is simply an option for you, and you are welcome to vote at your polling place. Your polling place will be listed on your VBM application form, and you may also look up your polling place on iVote.de.gov. If you have any questions about the location of your polling place, please contact the Department of Elections.

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If I choose to vote at my polling place, what COVID-19-related precautions will be in place?

  • If you would like to vote at your polling place, you are welcome to do so. Your polling place is listed on the VBM applications mailed, as a reference. You may also check your polling place at the voter portal, iVote.de.gov. At polling places, the election officers (poll wokers) will be using personal protective equipment (PPE), and will be ensuring social distancing takes place, as much as possible. The poll workers will be provided supplies to clean voting equipment and have been instructed to clean equipment after each use.

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Do I need to wear a mask at the polling place?

  • All voters are strongly encouraged to wear masks, to protect themselves, other voters, and poll workers. No voters will be denied their right to vote if not wearing a mask.

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Is there a sample ballot online?

  • You may view your sample ballot by accessing iVote.de.gov [NOTE: Sample ballots will be posted when available, and should be posted by approximately August 1st.]

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How can I return my completed VBM application to the Department?

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Is return postage paid for my ballot?

  • Yes, postage for your ballot is pre-paid. (This is the red metered postage mark at the top right of your ballot return envelope.). No additional postage is needed. After you have voted your ballot, seal it inside the return envelope, read the oath and sign below the oath, and then drop the completed ballot into a USPS mailbox, or give to your mail carrier.

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How can I return my ballot?

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How can I check the status of my ballot?

  • You may check your ballot status in the voter portal, iVote.de.gov iVote can let you know if (and when) your application was received by the Department of Elections, if (and when) your VBM ballot was sent to you, and if (and when) your VBM ballot was received from you by the Department.

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Is the VBM process secure?

  • Yes. Each VBM application received from a voter is reviewed by a Department of Elections team member. Any issues or questions are referred to an experienced supervisor for research and resolution. The Department has internal systems and controls in place to ensure that a voter may only have one active ballot issued for a particular election at any one time, which eliminates the possibility of multiple ballots existing for a voter. Also, at the polling place, the poll books used by poll workers to “check-in” voters provide a real-time update on the status of a voter's VBM ballot. If a voter has received a VBM ballot, and then decides to vote in person at the polling place, the poll worker will contact the Department and, if the VBM ballot has not been received back by Department, the VBM ballot will be cancelled and the voter may vote at the polling place. If a voter's VBM ballot has been received back by the Department, and the voter attempts to vote at their polling place, the voter will not be able to vote as their VBM ballot has already been received.

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What if I get a VBM application for someone who used to live at my address?

  • Please do not open the envelope. You should mark it "Return to Sender" and drop it in a mailbox, take it to the post office, or leave for your mail carrier to collect. Also, if a relative (such as an adult child or parent) no longer lives in Delaware or has passed away, you may request to cancel their voter registration by completing and returning this form: Cancel Registration for Close Relative to your county elections office.

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