To help voters as Election Day approaches, the League of Women Voters offers the Vote411.org website, designed as a one-stop shop for election information. According to the LWV, it provides nonpartisan information to the public with both general and state-specific information on all aspects of the election process.
On Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Vote411 website provides polling place information for voters. Only residents registered to vote will be allowed to vote in the Nov. 3 election. The deadline for unregistered citizens to register to vote was Oct. 10.
On election night, registered voters in line waiting to vote at closing time may cast their votes even after 8 p.m., according to the LWV.
According to the LWV, identification is required only if a voter registered using the National Voter Registration Form. 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 an individual votes in person or with an in-person absentee ballot.
Absentee and mail-in ballots
To vote absentee, one must submit an affidavit to request a ballot and swear or affirm that they are unable to go to their regular polling place during the election. For 2021 only, state law allows anyone to request a mail-in ballot; the deadline for the Department of Elections to mail out an absentee or mail-in ballot for the Nov. 3 election is Friday, Oct. 30. The deadline for the department to issue absentee or mail-in ballots for the Nov. 3 election is noon, Monday, Nov. 2, according to the Department of Elections calendar.
There are separate affidavits for each type of election and for each county. The affidavit can be obtained by phoning or writing to the County Board of Elections, or the county's affidavit may be downloaded from the Delaware Election Commission site through its iVote.de.gov link. For information from the Department of Elections for Sussex County, call 302-856-5367.
Voters can drop off their absentee or mail-in ballot in person at the Sussex County Board of Elections, 119 N. Race St., Georgetown, or place them in the mail using the addressed return envelope.
Anyone who is a registered voter in a election district but whose name does not appear on the official poll list 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, U.S. Senate, and Congress, according to the LWV.
The voting system used in Delaware for in-person voting is Direct Recording Electronic – a new system for Delaware and in the U.S.
Voters with special needs
All people qualified and desiring to vote must be given the opportunity to do so. In Delaware, all citizens are provided with any necessary assistance to make that happen: accessible polling places, accessible voting machines, voting by absentee or mail-in ballot, and assistance at any point as a means of accommodation. For more information, contact the Delaware Department of Elections, elections.delaware.gov or 302-856-5367 in Sussex County.
Problems with voting systems standards, provisional voting or any other voting issue are covered by Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002. Anyone who wants to register a formal complaint can do so, according to the LWV. For more information, go to the Delaware Department of Elections website at elections.delaware.gov.
This article printed inside Cape Gazette's 2020 Election Guide, which can be viewed in its entirety at capegazette.com/node/210163.