Delaware ID requirements for voting by mail

COVID-19 Advisory:  On May 7, 2020, Governor John Carney announced a further postponement of the state's presidential primary to July 7, 2020. Carney also postponed school board elections to July 21, 2020. Carney announced that the state would mail absentee ballot applications automatically to all eligible voters in the presidential preference primary. Voters can also download an absentee ballot request via this link.

Per the Governor's emergency order of March 24, the definition of sick, temporarily or permanently disables includes "any such voter who is asymptomatic of COVID-19 infection and otherwise abiding by CDC and DPH guidelines by exercising self-quarantine or social distancing to avoid potential exposure to (and community spread of) COVID-19, and who herself or himself freely chooses to use such qualification to vote by absentee ballot." This expanded definition applies to all elections as long as order is in effect.

Who is eligible to request an absentee ballot and vote by mail?

You must be a registered voter and unable to go to your regular polling place for one of the following reasons:

  • Work: The nature of your work prevents you from going to your polling place
  • School: Your enrollment in higher education prevents you from going to your polling place
  • Public Service: Your service to the U.S. or to the State of Delaware prevents you from going to your polling place (Spouses or dependents of the person in service also qualify)
  • Religion: The tenets or teaching of your religion prevent you from going to your polling place
  • Vacation: You are on vacation on Election Day
  • Illness: You are sick
  • Permanently or temporarily disabled
  • Incarcerated (Not for a felony)

Voter Registration

First-time voters who have not voted in a previous federal election, or who have never voted in their county of residence in a federal election, AND who did not provide either a driver’s license number or the last four digits of a Social Security number at the time of registration, must present documentation proving their identity in order to complete their voter registration. First time voters who are voting in person must present this documentation at the polls. First time voters who are voting by mail/absentee ballot must enclose a copy of such documentation with their ballot request or ballot. This is required under the federal Help America Vote Act, enacted in 2002.


Do you need to submit ID with your absentee ballot request?

No. Unless you are a first-time voter – see Voter Registration section above.

Do you need to submit ID with your ballot?


Last update: May 18, 2020

Hannah Piercey