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League of Women Voters

Delaware Voting Guide

At a glance:

Voting Alert

Absentee Ballot Process

To vote absentee, you must submit an affidavit to request a ballot and swear or affirm that you are unable to go to your regular polling place during the election. The affidavit can be obtained by phoning or writing the Department of Elections in your county or by downloading it from the Delaware Secretary of State website.

Some affidavit requests require notarization. Requests for affidavits that require notarization:

  • Work: The nature of your business or occupation, including students living out of county of their residence
  • Vacation
  • Religion: The tenets or teaching of your religion preclude voting on Election Day
  • Public Service: Your service to the United States or to the State of Delaware prevents you from going to your polling place. Spouses or dependents of the person in service also qualify.
  • Illness
  • Disability: You are permanently or temporarily disabled
  • Incarceration: you are incarcerated but not a convicted felon

The absentee ballot is usually mailed out 35 days before a primary and 45 days before a general election. When returning the absentee ballot remember to read all the instructions and to sign and date the voucher and envelope. All absentee ballots must be recieved by 8pm on Election Day in order to be counted.

You can check the status of your affidavit and your ballot here.

Overseas citizens and U.S. military personnel can find information on how to register to vote and request an absentee ballot at the Overseas Vote Foundation.

Registration Deadlines
In Person:
Saturday, October 13, 2018
By Mail:
Saturday, October 13, 2018
Election Dates:
Tuesday, November 6, 2018 (General Election)
State of Delaware
905 S. Governors Ave
Suite 170
Dover, DE 19904
Phone:
302-739-4277
Fax:
302-739-6794

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to vote in Delaware you must be:

  • A citizen of the United States
  • A resident of Delaware (proof required)
  • 18 years of age on or before the date of the next General Election
  • mentally competent

NOTE: Convicted felons may register to vote if they meet the following requirements:

  • They were not convicted of a disqualifying felony as defined in the Delaware Constitution. A list of disqualifying felonies can be found on the Delaware Department of Elections website.
  • They have completed their sentence

If you have any questions about your eligibility to register, please contact the State Election Commission (302-739-4277)

ID Needed for Voter Registration

Identification is not necessary to register to vote if you use the National Voter Registration Form. However, when registering with the department of elections or at an alternate approved location, current identification is required. The identification must include current and valid photo ID that shows full name and address. Examples include:

  • Current utility bill
  • Bank statement
  • Government check
  • Paycheck
  • Other government document that shows full name and address
  • Delaware Drivers License or State ID Card

ID Needed for Voting?

You will be asked to show ID at the polls. However, you do not need to show ID in order to vote. If you do not show an ID you must fill out a form before you can vote, but you will still be allowed to cast your ballot.

Acceptable forms of ID include:

  • Delaware Drivers License or State ID
  • US Passport
  • Signed Polling Place or Social Security Card
  • Signed vehicle registration
  • Signed credit card with photo
  • Similar document that IDs the person by photo or signature.

Registration Deadline

You can now register to vote online! Just submit the form before the deadline in order to register to vote.

The registration deadline is the fourth Saturday before a Primary or General Election. The deadline is 10 days before a Special Election.

You must be a registered Democrat to vote in a Democratic Primary or a registered Republican to vote in a Republican Primary.

Not registered? Use our registration tool to fill out your application!

Verify Voter Registration

To verify your voter registration status, click here.

Absentee Ballot Process

To vote absentee, you must submit an affidavit to request a ballot and swear or affirm that you are unable to go to your regular polling place during the election. The affidavit can be obtained by phoning or writing the Department of Elections in your county or by downloading it from the Delaware Secretary of State website.

Some affidavit requests require notarization. Requests for affidavits that require notarization:

  • Work: The nature of your business or occupation, including students living out of county of their residence
  • Vacation
  • Religion: The tenets or teaching of your religion preclude voting on Election Day
  • Public Service: Your service to the United States or to the State of Delaware prevents you from going to your polling place. Spouses or dependents of the person in service also qualify.
  • Illness
  • Disability: You are permanently or temporarily disabled
  • Incarceration: you are incarcerated but not a convicted felon

The absentee ballot is usually mailed out 35 days before a primary and 45 days before a general election. When returning the absentee ballot remember to read all the instructions and to sign and date the voucher and envelope. All absentee ballots must be recieved by 8pm on Election Day in order to be counted.

You can check the status of your affidavit and your ballot here.

Overseas citizens and U.S. military personnel can find information on how to register to vote and request an absentee ballot at the Overseas Vote Foundation.

Overseas and Military Voters

You are a Military or Overseas voter if you are in uniformed services, living overseas OR a spouse or dependant of a uniformed services voter. To get registered and vote, you can utilize Overseas Vote Foundation.

If you have additional questions about elections and voting overseas you can use our state specific elections official directory or contact the Overseas Vote Foundation.

Early Voting

You may vote by absentee ballot in-person at your local election official's office. Contact the local your local election official's office to determine when absentee ballots will be available and the hours for voting. Be sure to take proof of identity with you when you go to vote.

Election Dates

The next election date is Tuesday, November 6, 2018 (General Election). The registration deadline is Saturday, October 13, 2018.

For more information, contact your county clerk.

Poll Worker Information

In order to be a poll worker in Delaware:

  • You must be registered to vote in Delaware
  • You must be at least 18 years of age
  • You will be entitled to compensation
  • Political affiliation generally required
  • You must be a resident of the election district for the 30 days prior to the election
  • You must complete required training
  • High school students with residency in the state who are 16 years or older may work with written permission from a parent or guardian and school principal
  • College students with at least part time enrollment in their college or university can work within the respected county

To sign up, contact your local board of elections.

Polling Place Hours

Polling place hours are 7:00 am to 8:00 pm. If you are in line waiting to vote at closing time, you may cast your vote even if it is done after 8:00 pm.

Time Off To Vote

Time off to vote is subject to the employer. Delaware law does not require employers to grant time off to vote for employees.

Polling Place Locator

You can find your polling place by utilizing your state resource. 

The Department of Elections sends you a polling place card when you register; after a change in name, address, or party affiliation; or when your polling place is changed. If you need information regarding your election district and the place where you vote, visit https://ivote.de.gov/

If you have further questions on your polling place location, please contact your county clerk.

Provisional Voting

If you are a registered voter in your election district but your name does not appear on the official poll list, you may be able to vote by updating the record of a name or address change or by provisional ballot. Provisional ballots cover only federal offices such as President, Vice President, US Senate and US Congress. To be permitted to vote on a provisional ballot, you will be asked to sign an affidavit that says you are a registered voter in that election district and that you are eligible to vote in that election. If a federal or state court order extends the time established for closing the polls, votes cast after the normal poll closing time will all be by provisional ballot.

At the time you vote, you will be given information on the free access system set up by the commissioner of elections so that you can determine whether or not your ballot was counted and, if not, the reason why. Ballots are cast on paper and sealed, and you will be assigned a tracking number. The sealed envelopes are delivered to the Department of Elections for each county on the night of the election for verification the next day. If the Department of Elections for your county determines that the provisional ballot is eligible, then the vote is counted.

Note: You must provide proof of identity and address to vote on a provisional ballot. Acceptable forms of identification are a current, valid photo ID, copy of current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that shows your name and address.

You can check the status of your provisional ballot to determine if your vote was counted.

Voting Machines

The voting system used in Delaware is DRE.

Direct Recording Electronic (DRE): This is the newest kind of system in use in the U.S. All the information about who and what you are voting for is on an electronic screen like a TV or computer screen.

There are many variations of DREs because lots of companies are inventing new ones, and many cities, counties and states are trying them out. Usually, after you have signed in, the poll workers will give you a card that you slide into a device to start your voting session.

Some of these devices will show all of the candidates and ballot choices on one big screen. Often, with these big screen devices you push a button next to the name of the candidate you want to vote for (or yes or no on a ballot measure). On other DREs, the screen is set up to show pages. On each screen or page, there will probably be one thing to vote on. For example, on one screen or page, you might vote for president. Then you might move to the next page to vote for senator. Often these small-screen devices have a touch screen, where you touch the screen next to the name of the person you want to vote for. Other devices have a key pad. Some have a keyboard, so you can write in the name of someone you want to vote for.

You let the system know you are finished voting by pushing a button, touching the screen or entering something on a keypad.

You can learn more about voting systems by checking out the Elections Assistance Commission's (EAC).

Candidate and Ballot Measure Information

Information on local, state and federal candidates and ballot measures may be available here.

To see a list of available races, visit the race index.

 

Provisions for Voters with Disabilities

All people qualified and desiring to vote must be given the opportunity to do so. Therefore, there will be accessible polling places, accessible voting machines, the opportunity for voting by absentee ballot and assistance at any point as a means of accommodation.

If you need help at the polls election officers are ready to assist. You may also bring someone with you to help in the voting process.

If you are deaf or hard of hearing, all election materials, announcements and forms are available at your state's election website. You may also use the state's free TDD relay service to obtain election and voting information. Simply dial 711 and give the operator the toll free help line number for the county from which you are calling: New Castle County 800-577-000, Kent County 800-464-4357, Sussex County 800-464-4357, Outside Delaware 800-273-9500.

For more information, you can utilize the American Association of People With Disabilities (AAPD) resource.

Campaign Finance Information

For information on federal campaign contributions, please visit Open Secrets.

For information on state campaign contributions, please visit your state's resource.


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Election Day Problems?

Call one of these hotlines:
1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)
1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)
1-888-API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance)
1-844-418-1682 (Arabic)

 

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