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Vote-by-mail ballot applications out to voters

Sophia Schmidt
Delaware Public Media
A vote-by-mail application in an envelope to be sent back to the Department of Elections

Delaware voters should have received applications to vote by mail for September’s primary election. 

The Delaware Department of Elections says it has mailed applications for mail-in Primary ballots to all registered Democrats and Republicans that haven’t already applied.

The General Assembly passed legislation earlier this summer allowing all registered voters to vote by mail this fall without excuse because of the pandemic. 

State Election Commissioner Anthony Albence says those who have not received the paper application should contact their county elections office or apply online through theivote portal.

The actual vote-by-mail ballots will be sent out between mid-August and Sept. 11. But Albence says those who want to vote by mail should apply soon.

“I always advise people to send them in as early as possible, just as to give yourself enough time,” he said.

After mid-August, voters who request a mail-in ballot should contact the Department of Elections if they don’t receive it in five to seven days, Albence says. The state is in the process of getting additional equipment to automate sending the ballots out. 

Some voters reported requesting but not receiving an absentee ballot during school board elections and the Presidential Primary. But Albence is not concerned it will be an issue in the fall elections.

“They’re generally pretty isolated,” he said. “There’s no larger-scale problem we’re aware of, certainly.”

Gov. John Carney’s emergency order still lets all voters impacted by the pandemic vote absentee under the sick or physically disabled excuse. Those that do so can mark ballots electronically and return them by email. 

Voting in person is still an option this fall. 


Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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