It’s Election Day, so if you’re one of the Delawareans who hasn’t yet voted, today is the day.
First thing first: If you didn’t register to vote in Delaware by Oct. 10, you missed the window. But if you didn’t go out of your way to register and are now full of regret, there’s a chance you might be registered if you have a Delaware drivers license or state ID. When you obtain or renew a Delaware license or ID, you will be given the option to register and all you have to do is pick a party (or “unaffiliated”). It’s such a quick and routine thing that you might have done it and forgot.
So how do you find out if you’re registered or check your status? It’s simple:
- Go to ivote.de.gov/voterview.
- Enter your name, date of birth and Delaware license number.
This takes you to your personal dashboard of all things elections. It will show you right away if you’re registered. If you are, scroll down a bit to find your polling place (with Google Maps), as well as a sample ballot and a list of your districts and representatives, from City Council and school districts to the office of the president.
On-the-day voting in 2020
This is the first year that there has been mass voting in Delaware before Election Day; in previous years, mail-in/absentee voting required an excuse, whether it be illness, disability, military service or overseas residence. Due to COVID-19, Delaware made it so that all residents can vote by mail without an excuse.
Delaware does not have the traditional early voting you’ve heard about. Instead of going to polls to vote early, Delawareans fill out their mail-in ballot and either mailed it or dropped it off in person at their county’s election office drop boxes:
- New Castle County — Carvel State Office Building — Lobby at Ninth and French streets entrance
- New Castle County Office Warehouse & Training Center — 220 Lisa Drive, New Castle; box is located at south (read: far) end of building
- Kent County Office of Elections — 100 Enterprise Place, Dover; drop boxes are located by front entrance door and by warehouse door
- Sussex County Office of Elections — 119 N. Race St., Georgetown; secure drop slot located in door adjacent to parking lot on Race Street
These boxes will be open until 8 p.m. on Election Day, so if you requested a mail-in ballot but haven’t yet returned it, you can still take it directly to an election office drop box instead of going to your polling place. At this point, do not mail the ballot. Ballots must be received by Nov. 3 at 8 p.m.
What if you requested a mail-in ballot and never received it? Call your county election office to cancel it. You can still vote if you’re in Delaware: Go to your polling place, and if you still show up as a mail-in voter, a polling officer will call the office to make sure you haven’t already voted before allowing you to continue. (Try and work it out before you go to the polls if possible to avoid holding up the line.)
Voting in person should generally be the same as other years, if the September primaries are any indication, though you should expect longer lines. Wear a mask and practice social distancing at the polling place. It’s quicker if you have your ID, but they can look you up without one, as long as you’re registered.
Once they announce you and you’re in the voting booth, the machine will walk you through the process, including double checking that the votes are correct before they’re submitted.
If you feel as if you’re being intimidated into voting a certain way during the voting process, call the Delaware Department of Elections voter hotline at (302) 739-4277.
I voted — now what?
Your ivote.de.gov/voterview dashboard will tell you when your vote has been accepted for mail-in/dropbox voting (and if you already voted and haven’t checked the status, you’ll definitely want to do that now). For dropbox voting, it shouldn’t take long for the status to say accepted; I voted via the Carvel State Building dropbox on a Friday and the status was updated when I checked on Saturday. But of course, Election Day is going to be much busier than an average day, so don’t panic if it doesn’t update right away.
In-person votes are accepted when you hit submit. It will be added to your VoterView voting history, but probably won’t show up immediately.
Who to follow
Following the election results will be pretty inescapable. Cable news has traditionally been the Election Night go-to, but you can curate your election night on social media by following the hastag #NetDE on Twitter and by following local social media accounts that cover what’s going on both locally and nationally.
Here’s a handful of recs:
DelawarePublic Media (NPR)
.@DE_DOJ says voters concerned for their safety should call 911. Voters concerned about any other problem can contact the Department of Elections’ voter hotline at (302) 739-4277. #netde #Election2020 #voterintimidation
— DelawarePublicMedia (@DelawarePublic) November 2, 2020
Sarah Gamard (delawareonline government and politics reporter)
Per the Delaware Department of Elections: 161,161 people have voted already. That's more than a fifth of Delaware's 739,557 registered voters. This state doesn't have early voting, so it's all mail and absentee. #netde
— Sarah Gamard (@SarahGamard) November 2, 2020
Crossfire w/ Special Guest @ChrisCoons WATCH FULL INTERVIEW HERE https://t.co/qTsWNTh3AU @NBCPhiladelphia @MSNBC @ABCPolitics #FoxNews @Yamiche @maddow @MorningJoe_ @AprilDRyan @rolandsmartin @donlemon @realDonaldTrump @RobinRoberts @mitchellreports @KatyTurNBC @NicolleDWallace pic.twitter.com/BHL0cyjslN
— DETV (@DeTvch) November 2, 2020
Meredith Newman (delawareonline health reporter)
Well, it’s happening.
It looks like two big screens are being set up on either side of the stage, where Joe Biden will be speaking on election night.
Still unclear the access the public will have. Thought truly wouldn’t be surprised if folks stopped on I-95 to watch. pic.twitter.com/0YxWyBpQnS
— Meredith Newman (@MereNewman) November 2, 2020
Matthew Biddle (Delaware State News government and politics reporter)
Anyone have any election questions? Anything you want to know about the candidates or process? #netDE
— Matthew Bittle (@MatthewCBittle) November 2, 2020
Mark Eichmann (WHYY Delaware Desk)
Joe Biden is back at Wilmington's Queen Theatre for another campaign event this morning. More on how the #Wilmington landmark has become a key part of the #Biden campaign: https://t.co/mHQTKFRvUN #netDE @WHYYNews @INWilmingtonDE @BucciniPollin
— Mark Eichmann (@MarkEichmann) October 28, 2020
How’s your Election Day going? What are you seeing out in the wild? Tell us on Twitter: @TechnicallyDE.