Mail-In and Absentee Voting

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TOPICS found on this page

Important Vote-By-Mail Deadlines
Applying for Your Vote-by-Mail Ballot
Receiving and Filling Out Your Mail-in Ballot or Absentee Ballot
Three Options for Returning Your Mail-In/Absentee Ballot
Last Minute Emergencies
Military and Overseas Voters



Online Ballot Request Application
Mail-in Ballot Application [English, Spanish]
Absentee Ballot Application [English, Spanish]
Paper Application Request Form for those unable to print applications

In order to track the status of your mail-in or absentee ballot, you can use this Ballot Tracker from the Department of State

**Please allow some time for your application to be processed. Ballots cannot be mailed until an official ballot is certified by the State.**



Important Vote-by-Mail Deadlines

One Week BEFORE Election Day: Applications for mail-in ballots and absentee ballots must be received by the Delaware County Bureau of Elections by 5 p.m.

Election Day: Voted ballots must be delivered to the Board of Elections no later than 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 2



If you receive a mail-in/absentee ballot but decide you would prefer to vote in person at your polling place, you can do so. You must bring your ballot in the declaration envelope with you on Election Day, inform the poll workers that you would like to spoil your ballot and vote in-person instead, and surrender it to your precinct Judge of Elections. You can then cast a regular in-person ballot.

If you do not have your mail-in/absentee ballot to surrender at your polling place, you may cast a provisional ballot. This will be counted only if the Bureau of Elections does not receive the mail-in/absentee ballot that was sent to you.



Applying for Your Vote-by-Mail Ballot

Before you can vote, be sure that you are registered to vote. Visit our Voter Registration page for details. The deadline to register is October 19, 2020. If you are not sure if you are registered, use the online Voter Registration Status Check.

Review the Voter Identification Requirements for applying for a Vote-by-Mail ballot.

Note: Absent Uniformed Service members, their families, and citizens residing outside the United States can apply for an absentee ballot through the Federal Voting Assistance Program. For more information, click here.


Apply for a Vote-by-Mail Ballot Online

If you are a registered voter, visit the Pennsylvania Ballot Request Application page. From this page you can complete an online application.


Apply for a Vote-by-Mail Ballot with a Paper Application

You can either print your own application, or fill out the online request form for a paper application, the links of which are at the top of the page.

Return your completed mail-in ballot application or absentee ballot application to:

Delaware County Bureau of Elections
2501 Seaport Dr. Suite BH120
Chester, PA 19013


Apply for a Vote-by-Mail Ballot In-Person

You can also visit one of our Delaware County Voter Service Centers and request a mail-in ballot application or absentee ballot application in person.

You can elect to take the mail-in ballot application or absentee ballot application home and complete it and return it later or submit it on-site for immediate processing.

In addition, if you successfully complete the application on-site, you will have the option of immediately receiving your ballot and submitting your voted ballot at the Voter Service Center, or taking it with you to return at a later time (either by mail, at the Voter Service Center, or at a Delaware County Ballot Drop Box). This option is available starting 50 days before Election Day, and ending 7 days before Election Day.



Receiving and Filling Out Your Mail-in Ballot or Absentee Ballot

  1. All mail-in ballot applications are processed by the Delaware County Bureau of Elections. Processing time varies. Check the status of your mail-in ballot application using the Election Ballot Status Check tool. Once you receive your ballot, review the materials.

  2. Mark your ballot, following instructions included with the ballot.

  3. Once you have filled out your mail-in ballot, place it in the secrecy envelope and then put the secrecy envelope into the official envelope. Be sure to sign the declaration, or your ballot may not count!



THREE OPTIONS FOR RETURNING YOUR MAIL-IN/ABSENTEE BALLOT

Mail-in ballots and absentee ballots can be returned to the Delaware County Bureau of Elections at any Delaware County Voter Service Center.

Note: Return of a ballot by anyone other than the voter is prohibited unless the person returning the ballot is rendering assistance to a disabled voter or an emergency absentee voter. Such assistance requires a declaration signed by the voter and by the person rendering assistance. This form is listed below. It can be submitted in-person at a Voter Service Center.


Whether you are returning your ballot by mail, ballot drop box, or in-person at a Voter Service Center, please be sure to place your voted mail-in/absentee ballot in the secrecy ballot provided to you, seal it, and then place this envelope within the larger return envelope. Then fill out, sign, and date the declaration on the outside of the return envelope. If your ballot is mailed without the secrecy envelope or your return envelope is not signed your vote will not be counted.

Return your ballot as quickly as possible to help ensure that it arrives at the Delaware County Bureau of Elections on time.

Third Party Ballot Delivery for Mail Voting Form


Returning your Mail-In/Absentee Ballot By Mail

The official mail-in ballot and absentee ballot return envelope is self-addressed and postage-paid, requiring no additional steps or costs to mail it using the United States Postal Service. Simply place the envelope in your typical mail pickup repository, any USPS Drop Box (aka, a blue box), or bring it to a USPS Post Office for processing.

You can also choose to use an alternate mail carrier, including FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc. Visit the carrier’s website for more information regarding deliverability and possible charges.


Returning your Mail-In Ballot or Absentee Ballot at a Delaware County Ballot Drop Box

Mail-in ballots and absentee ballots can be returned to the Delaware County Bureau of Elections through any Delaware County Ballot Drop Box.



Last Minute Emergencies

In emergency situations (such as an unexpected illness or disability and last-minute absence) following the deadline at 5 p.m. on the Tuesday before the election, you can request an Emergency Absentee Ballot.

Emergency Absentee Ballot Request Form

The deadline to submit your Emergency Absentee Ballot Application to the County Election Office is 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.

If you are unable to pick up and/or return your emergency absentee ballot yourself, this form allows you to authorize a representative to do it for you. The voter or authorized representative must return this form and the ballot to the County Board of Elections by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.

Authorized Representative for Emergency Absentee Ballot Form



Military and Overseas Voters

To register to vote and/or apply for an absentee ballot as a military or civilian overseas voter, you can complete the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). Return the signed form by:

Email attachment to DelcoElection@co.delaware.pa.us, or mail to:

Delaware County Bureau of Elections
2501 Seaport Dr. Suite BH120
Chester, PA 19013

The deadline to register to vote is TWO WEEKS before Election Day, and a ballot request must be received by the day BEFORE Election Day. For more information, see the Federal Voting Assistance Program guide for Pennsylvania.

You can select to receive your absentee ballot by email/online, fax, or mail. Once you receive the ballot, mark it and submit it for delivery by mail no later than 11:59 p.m. on the day BEFORE Election Day. The Bureau of Elections must receive voted military and overseas absentee ballots by 5:00 p.m. ONE WEEK after Election Day.

If you do not receive your absentee ballot in time to return it to participate in the election, you can use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). This is an official backup ballot that is blank, meaning it does not include the names of any candidates. It can only be used if you have already submitted an FPCA request, and a FWAB will only be counted if we do not receive your absentee ballot by the deadline. You can review the 2021 Municipal Primary Notice to determine which offices that will be included on the ballot.



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Delaware County, presently consisting of over 184 square miles divided into forty-nine municipalities is the oldest settled section of Pennsylvania.


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