Delaware Elections

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Upcoming Elections

2016 Presidential Preference Primary: Tuesday, April 26

2016 General Election: Tuesday, November 8

For detailed election information, visit the Delaware Commissioner of Elections website.

Please note that the information in the sections below has not been updated, and refers to the 2015 general election.


Voting Rights

News

New Hampshire’s New Voter-ID Law Could Lead to Longer Lines, Voter Intimidation
02/08/16 |
Publication Date: 
Monday, February 8, 2016 - 11:00
Excerpt: 

New Hampshire voters will be asked to show government-issued ID when they cast a ballot. Those without the required ID can still cast a regular ballot by signing an affidavit, but they will have to let poll workers take their pictures, which is raising alarms among voting-rights activists. ...

“It’s saying to voters, ‘We suspect you of being a criminal.’” ...

It could also lead to longer lines at the polls. Wait times increased by 50 percent when the voter-ID law was partially implemented, without the camera requirement, during the 2012 election, the fifth-largest increase nationwide according to the Pew Research Center. “Reports to voter protection hotlines and reports in newspapers after the election showed that at least 29 cities and towns experienced serious problems with lines,” found the New Hampshire League of Women Voters.

In May 2015, 150 election officials from every county in the state called for the camera mandate to be repealed.

Kansas caucuses show party differences in voting approaches
02/08/16 |
Publication Date: 
Sunday, February 7, 2016 - 11:30
Excerpt: 

Kansas Republicans and Democrats are preparing for March 5 presidential caucuses amid questions about voter registration rules and with several thousand potential voters who have tried to register unable to cast a ballot in the 2016 elections because they haven't provided proof of citizenship. ...

Kansas Republicans cannot vote in their party caucus unless they were registered to vote by Feb. 4. Republican caucus goers must also show government issued identification such as a driver's license and can expect to have their voter registration as Republicans verified.

Democrats can register to vote when they show up March 5 at their caucus site. Registered voters can also change their party affiliation to Democrat that day. Voter ID is not required. The party advises those who plan to register to vote for the first time in Kansas that day to bring proof of citizenship, but for those who show up without that paperwork the Kansas Democratic Party won't require citizenship documents to vote in the caucus.

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Voting as a Student

As a student, you have a constitutional right to register and vote in the place you truly consider to be “home” — whether that’s your parents’ house, your apartment, or your dorm room. But before you make the important decision about where to vote, make sure you know the rules (and sometimes consequences) of registering to vote in that state.

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Helpful Election Information

Upcoming Elections in Your State

2016 Presidential Preference Primary: Tuesday, April 26

2016 General Election: Tuesday, November 8

For detailed election information, visit the Delaware Commissioner of Elections website.

Please note that the information in the sections below has not been updated, and refers to the 2015 general election.


7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. For more information on early/absentee voting, see below.

REGISTER TO VOTE HERE

Registration Deadlines

You must be registered to vote in General, Primary and Special Elections. You may not have to register to vote in city or town elections, visit your county website to find out.

You must be register by the 4th Saturday prior to any Presidential, Primary, or General Election and at least 10 days before a special election to vote in the election.

How to Check if You Are Registered

Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

Check if you are registered HERE.

How to Register

You may register to vote by mail, by phone, or in person. For more information, contact your local Department of Elections.

Delaware also offers online registration. To register online, visit Delaware’s Register to Vote website.

You may also register at several state agencies, including DMV offices offering driver license and state ID services, the Department of Health & Social Services, and the Department of Labor.

Registration Eligibility

To be qualified to vote in the State of Delaware:

  • You must be a citizen of the United States;
  • You must be a resident of Delaware:  Delaware is your home;
  • You must be 18 years old by the date of the next General Election;
  • You cannot register to vote if you have been adjudged mentally incompetent.  "Adjudged mentally incompetent" refers to a specific finding in a judicial guardianship or equivalent proceeding, based on clear and convincing evidence that the individual has a severe cognitive impairment which precludes exercise of basic voting judgment; and
  • You must not be a convicted felon.  In some situations, however, a convicted felon may be able to register to vote.  Click here for additional information.

When can I register to vote?

  • Anytime except after the fourth Saturday before a Primary or General Election through the day of the election.
  • At least 10 days before a Special Election.

Identification Required for Registration

You must provide either a valid Delaware driver's license or Delaware identification number when you register.  If you have neither, you should provide a social security number.

If you are registering by mail, and it is the first time you have registered to vote in Delaware, you must submit a copy of one of the following with your application:

  • A current and valid photo identification;
  • A current utility bill;
  • A current bank statement;
  • A current government check;
  • A current paycheck; or
  • Another current government document that shows your name and address.

If you do not provide one of the above forms of identification when you register, you must provide one the first time you vote in a federal election.  If you do not, you will only be allowed to vote by provisional ballot.

If You Want to Vote Early

Delaware does not have early voting, however, if you qualify for an absentee ballot, you may apply for and submit an absentee ballot in person at the Department of Elections for your County.  To vote absentee in person, contact the Department of Elections for your County or by mail 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. 

The last day to vote absentee in person is at 12 -noon- the day before the election. 

If You Want to Vote Absentee

You can qualify to vote by Absentee Ballot if any of the following applies to you: 

  • Work: The nature of your work prevents you from going to your polling place.  This includes students unable to vote for school-related reasons;
  • 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 (Public service includes military, diplomatic, etc.);
  • Religion: The tenets or teaching of your religion prevent you from going to your polling place;
  • Vacation: You are on vacation on Election Day;
  • Illness: You are sick;
  • Disability: You are experiencing a temporary or permanent physical disability; or
  • Incarcerated: You are incarcerated. (Not for a felony)

To receive an Absentee Ballot, you must submit a completed Affidavit for Absentee Ballot to the Department of Elections in your County.  You may obtain an Affidavit online at the Commissioner of Elections website, or by contacting the Department of Elections for your County.  Depending on the reason why you cannot go to the polls on Election Day, you may need to have your affidavit notarized (for instance, if you are incarcerated, your religion prevents you from voting in person or your work or school prevents you from going to the polling place, you need to have your affidavit notarized).

Deadlines

For those who request absentee ballots, they will be mailed as soon as they are ready (usually around 35 days before the Primary Election, and around 45 days before the General Election).

Ballots must be received (either by mail or in person) by the Department of Elections by the time the polls close (8pm) on Election Day.

The Department of Elections will mail absentee ballots until four days before the primary election and general election.  If receiving an absentee ballot in person, ballots will be issued up until 12:00 noon on the day prior to the election.

Identification Requirements to Register to Vote

You must provide either a valid Delaware driver's license or Delaware identification number when you register.  If you have neither, you should provide a social security number.

If you are registering by mail, and it is the first time you have registered to vote in Delaware, you must submit a copy of one of the following with your application:

  • A current and valid photo identification;
  • A current utility bill;
  • A current bank statement;
  • A current government check;
  • A current paycheck; or
  • Another current government document that shows your name and address.

If you do not provide one of the above forms of identification when you register, you must provide one the first time you vote in a federal election.  If you do not, you will only be allowed to vote by provisional ballot.

Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot

Delaware requires residents provide ID when voting.  However, in the event the voter does not have proof of identity with them, a voter may sign an affidavit of affirmation that he or she is the person listed on the election district record.

Identification Required to Vote:

  • A current, valid photo ID;
  • A current utility bill;
  • A current bank statement;
  • A current government check;
  • A current paycheck; or
  • Another current government document that shows your name and address.

If you are registered to vote in Delaware but move to a new location within the state, you need to fill out a new voter registration application and give it to the Department of Elections in your new county.

If you have not transferred your voter registration and you go to the polling place for your old residence, the election officers there will complete an eligibility affidavit, put it in an envelope that notes the location and address of your new, correct polling place, give it to you, and direct you to the new polling place.  You will then be permitted to vote at your new polling place after showing proof of identity, proof of address, and signing a blank signature card.

If you did not transfer your voter registration and you go directly to the polling place for your new residence, you will be required to affirm your new address in writing by completing and signing a similar eligibility affidavit.  You should bring documentation to prove your new address (i.e. a utility bill).  You will then be allowed to vote at your new polling place.

Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), also known as Standard Form 76, to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot.  Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program's (FVAP) Delaware-specific FPCA page.

Military and overseas citizens can send and receive voting materials by fax and email.  If you wish to use the fax or email options, you must indicate this on your FPCA.  Instructions for doing so are found on the FVAP's Delaware-specific FPCA page.

Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) if they are concerned with receiving their printed ballot and returning it by the 8:00 p.m., Election Day deadline.  The FWAB is a blank ballot on which voters write-in their choices.  The FWAB may also be used to register to vote and to apply for the absentee ballot, all in one step.  If the FWAB is being used to register to vote, it must be received by the voter registration deadline.  For specific instructions, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program's Delaware-specific FWAB page.

In 2013, the Delaware Senate passed the Hazel D. Plant Voter Restoration Act, which abolished the five year waiting period for restoration of voting rights following felony incarceration, probation, or parole in all but limited circumstances.  If you have been convicted of a disqualifying felony (murder, manslaughter, sexual offenses, or crimes against public administration involving bribery, improper influence, or abuse of office), you cannot vote in Delaware.

If you have been convicted of any other felony, you are eligible to register to vote after you have paid all fines and completed any prison sentence stemming from the conviction, including incarceration, probation, and parole.

To see if you are eligible, contact the Department of Elections at (302) 739-4277.

**The materials below have not yet been updated since 2014**

FAQ

Top Issues to Field

For more information for voters with disabilities, visit the National Disability Rights Network’s voting resource center.

For more information for student voters, visit the Delaware Student Voting Guide from the Brennan Center for Justice.

Information provided by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights