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
All registered voters have a right to cast their vote using a Vote-by-Mail ballot. There are two different ways to apply for a Vote-by Mail ballot:
Mail-in Ballot: Any qualified voter may apply for a mail-in ballot. You may simply request this ballot without a reason.
Absentee Ballot: If you plan to be out of the municipality on election day or if you have a disability or illness, you can request this ballot type. This ballot requires you to list a reason for your request.
October 27, 2020: Applications for mail-in ballots and absentee ballots must be received by the Delaware County Bureau of Elections by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, October 27.
November 3, 2020: Voted ballots must be delivered to the Board of Elections no later than 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3. However, per Order of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, ballots returned by mail (as opposed to those returned in person or via an approved ballot drop box) are deemed to have been timely returned if they are postmarked before 8:00 PM on November 3, 2020. Under that same court Order, ballots returned by mail that have an illegible or missing postmark are deemed to have been timely returned if they are received by the Board of Elections prior to 5:00 p.m. on November 6, 2020.
November 6, 2020: Mail-in and absentee ballots submitted for mail delivery prior to 8:00 p.m. on Election Day must be received by the Delaware County Bureau of Elections by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 6.
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 its mailing 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.
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.
If you are a registered voter, visit the Pennsylvania Ballot Request Application page. From this page you can complete an online application.
If you are unable to apply online or don't have a printer to download an application form, you may submit an online request to have a mail-in or absentee ballot application mailed to you.
Return your completed mail-in ballot application or absentee ballot application to:
Delaware County Bureau of Elections
201 West Front Street
Media, PA 19063-2728
You can also return your completed Mail-in Ballot Application or Absentee Ballot Application in-person at a Delaware County Voter Service Center.
Absent Uniformed Service members, their families, and citizens residing outside the United States should use the online Federal form:
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.
All mail-in ballot applications are processed by the Delaware County Bureau of Elections. Processing time varies. Mail-in ballots and absentee ballots will be mailed to voters beginning in early October 2020. Check the status of your mail-in ballot application using the Election Ballot Status Check tool. Once you receive your ballot, review the materials.
Once you receive your ballot, review the materials.
Review a Sample Ballot for your precinct (optional).
Mark your ballot, following instructions included with the ballot.
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!
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.
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.
Mail-in ballots and absentee ballots can be returned to the Delaware County Bureau of Elections through any Delaware County Ballot Drop Box.
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 or mailed to Delaware County Bureau of Elections, 201 W. Front St., Media, PA 19063.
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.
The deadline to submit your Emergency Absentee Ballot Application to the County Election Office is 8:00 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3.
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.
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, 201 West Front Street, Media, PA 19063-2728.
The deadline to register to vote is October 19, and a ballot request must be received by November 2. 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 November 2. The Bureau of Elections must receive voted military and overseas absentee ballots by 5:00 p.m. on November 10.
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 this Notice to determine for which offices and questions you are able to cast a vote.