This Way to the Voting Booth 2021-2022: A Citizen's Guide to Registration & Voting
- What do you need to register?
- Where do I register to vote?
- Register by mail
- Party affiliation
- Where do I vote?
- What will I do at the Polling Location?
- How do I vote on School District elections?
Delaware Elections Calendars
Each year, the Delaware Elections Commissioner issues a of election-related dates (voting days, registration deadlines, etc) and posts it on the Dept of Elections website "Calendars" page.
The county-level departments of elections in Delaware have recently consolidated their online information under the auspices of the state Department of Elections website. Phone numbers for each county office are listed below.
- The Department of Elections for New Castle County - Telephone: 302-577-3464
- The Department of Elections for Kent County - Telephone: 302-739-4498
- The Department of Elections for Sussex County - Telephone: 302-856-5367
More detailed contact information is available here: elections.delaware.gov/locations.shtml
You Must Register to Vote in Delaware Elections, Except School Board Elections
Information on how and when to register has can be found here: elections.delaware.gov/voter/votereg.shtml
Voting in County, State, & Federal Elections
- Finding your polling place: Polling places can be obtained by entering your home address on the Dept of Elections ivote.de.gov voter portal or on VOTE411.
- ID needed for voting: Identification is required ONLY if you have registered using the National Voter Registration Form and thus did not supply it originally.
- In that case, the voter must present current identification which includes a current and valid photo ID that shows full name and address. If a photo ID cannot be produced, a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government documents that show full name and address will be accepted. Identification is also required the first time you vote in person or with an in-person absentee ballot.
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. There are separate affidavits for each type of election and for each county. The affidavit can be obtained by phoning or writing your County Board of Elections (see links below) or your county's affidavit may be downloaded from the Delaware Election Commission site here.
You may vote by absentee ballot in-person at your County Board of Elections. Contact the Board of Elections 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. In-office voting ends on the Monday before Tuesday election days, November 5 for the 2012 General Election. Find a link to your County Department of Elections below.
Starting in 2022, 10 days of early in-person voting will be available for all voters (not only absentee voters) in the Delaware primary and general elections, per new DE early voting legislation (HB38) passed by the Delaware General Assembly in 2019.
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.
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. For details, go here
Starting in May 2019, Delawareans vote using ExpressVote XL voting machines from ES&S. The ExpressVote XL Universal Voting System both marks and tabulates votes in one full-face voting unit. It includes a voter-verifiable paper record that is digitally scanned for tabulation on the ExpressVote XL itself. To ensure election integrity, Delaware voters should take the time to visually scan the machine-marked paper ballot and verify its contents before finalizing their votes.
For information about using these machines (including a handy video tutorial), go here.
For Voters with Special Needs
All people qualified and desiring to vote must be given the opportunity to do so. It is the goal of the State of Delaware to provide all citizens with any necessary assistance to make that happen: Accessible polling places, Accessible voting machines, Voting by Absentee Ballot, Assistance at any point as a means of accommodation. For details, go here.
If you experience a problem with voting systems standards, provisional voting or any other voting problem covered by Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) and wish to register a formal complaint, there is a specific process to do so. Find details here.
Information for candidates for public office in Delaware including how to register to be a candidate, voter statistics, and past election reports as well as online Delaware state law resources about candidate activities and guidelines are here.
For information about voting and elections not covered above: Contact your county Department of Elections. See links below.
Voting in Municipal Elections
Town and city charters determine voter qualifications for municipal elections. Some allow property owners who are not full-time residents to vote and to serve on the local council or commission. Most municipal elections are held separately from general elections in the state.
To vote in city or town elections you must register with the local jurisdiction. The Delaware League of Local Governments provides links to websites of local governments in Delaware. You can find contact information there.
To vote in city elections that are placed on the state general election ballot a person must be registered with the state before voting.
The state has established requirements for the conduct of municipal elections. There is a separate affidavit to apply for an absentee ballot in municipal elections. Contact your county Department of Elections. See links below.
Voting in School Board Elections
To vote in school board elections a person must be a resident in the school district holding the election and be at least 18 years of age. Advance registration is not necessary. You may vote by absentee ballot if you cannot be present on election day. Contact your county Department of Elections for information.
Launched by the League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF) in October of 2006, VOTE411 is a "one-stop-shop" for election-related information. It provides nonpartisan information to the public with both general and state-specific information on all aspects of the election process.