Qualifications to Vote by Absentee Ballot
To vote absentee, you must be a registered voter and meet one of the following criteria:
- A member of the Uniformed Services on Active Duty
- Members of the Merchant Marines
- A spouse or dependent of a member of the Uniformed Services or Merchant Marine
- A U.S. Citizen temporarily residing outside of the United States due to:
- Serving with the American Red Cross, USO, Peace Corps, etc
- A U.S. Citizen permanently residing outside of the United States
- Physical disability
- Student, their spouse or dependents residing with them who are outside their county of residence
- For reasons of employment will not be able to vote on Election Day
- Government employee, their spouse or dependents residing with them, who are outside their county of residence on Election Day
- A person on vacation who will be outside their county of residence on Election Day
- Serving as a juror in a state of federal court on Election Day
- Admitted to hospitals as emergency patients on the day of election or within a four day period before the election
- Death or funeral in the family within a three-day period before the election
- Confined to a jail or pre-trial facility pending disposition of arrest or trial
- Attending a sick or physically disabled person
- A certified poll watcher, poll manager, county registration board or election commission member or staff working on Election Day
- Persons sixty-five years of age or older
Any elector wishing to vote by absentee ballot must apply to the County Voter Registration Board. Applications for absentee ballots can be submitted anytime during the calendar year in which the election is to be held in which the elector wishes to vote by absentee ballot. The registration board must receive completed application by 5 pm, four days before the election if the ballot is to be mailed. However, any elector applying in person may apply until 5 pm on the day before the election.
If an elector is admitted to a hospital as an emergency patient on the day of election or within a four day period before the election, a member of the immediate family may obtain and complete an application, receive the ballot and deliver it personally to the patient who will vote it. That family member will then personally deliver the ballot back to the County Voter Registration Board. These ballots must be returned before the closing of polls on election day. Immediate family is defined as:
The absentee ballot application form may be requested by the voter himself, a member of his/her immediate family or by the authorized representative of the voter. The voter or a member of his immediate family may request the application in person, by telephone or by mail. A voter’s authorized representative must request an absentee ballot application in person, and must himself be a registered voter and must sign an oath to the effect that he fits the statutory definition of such a representative.
Authorized representatives are registered electors who, with a voter’s permission, act for a voter unable to go to the polls because of illness or disability resulting in his confinement in a hospital, sanitarium, nursing home, or place of residence; or a voter unable because of physical disability to go to his polling place, or because of such disability unable to vote at his polling place due to existing architectural barriers which deny him physical access o the polling place, voting booth or voting apparatus.
A candidate or member of a candidate’s paid campaign staff, including volunteers reimbursed for time expended on campaign activity, may not request an absentee ballot application for any person unless the person is a member of their immediate family.