Absentee Ballots and Voting
The following page contains information about absentee voting.
Topics found on this page:
- Current Availability of Ballots
- About Absentee Voting
- Absentee Voting During COVID-19
- Requesting an Absentee Ballot
- Completing Your Ballot
- Returning Your Ballot
- Important Deadlines
- Overseas Citizens & Uniformed Service Members & Their Dependents
- Tracking the Status of Your Ballot
- Absentee Ballots for the November 3, 2020 NH General Election are now available. If you would like to obtain your absentee ballot in-person, you may do so during regular business hours. At this time, we respectfully request that you leave with your ballot as space is limited in our lobby for voters to complete their ballots in the office.
- Always contact our office at 603-448-3054 with questions - we are here to help you through this process.
About Absentee Voting
There is no early voting in New Hampshire, however, qualified voters can vote by absentee ballots. To qualify, you must not be able to appear in person on Election Day due to:
- Physical disability
- Religious observance
- Concern for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) *2020 only*
- Absence from City on day of an election
- Employment obligations. For the purpose of absentee voting, the term "employment" shall include the care of children and infirm adults, with or without compensation.
Due to an update in NH RSA 657:1, when the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning, blizzard warning, or ice storm warning for election day certain individuals will be permitted to vote by absentee ballot on the Monday immediately prior to the election for the following circumstances:
- A person who is elderly, infirm, or has a physical disability and would otherwise vote in person but has concerns for their safety traveling in the storm.
- A person who anticipates that school, child care, or adult care will be canceled and would otherwise vote in person but will need to care for children or infirm adults.
Absentee Voting During COVID-19
Since voting in person at the 2020 elections may pose a health risk to some due to the COVID-19 health emergency, you may vote by absentee if:
- You are ill due to COVID-19, or caring for someone with COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19; OR
- You are concerned that registering or voting in person will expose you or others to COVID-19.
There is now a box on the absentee ballot application listing COVID-19 as a reason to request an absentee ballot. If you have already submitted a request using a prior version of the form, do not worry! You do not need to submit a corrected application. The term "disability" in the election law still extends to these circumstances. Even if you do not consider yourself a person with a disability in other circumstances, this term still applies for registering to vote and voting in 2020. The opportunity to vote absentee due to disability of COVID-19 will apply for all 2020, regardless of the future development of the public health crisis.
Requesting an Absentee Ballot
Requests for absentee ballots must be made in writing and contain your signature. An official Absentee Ballot Request Application may be obtained by:
- downloading/printing it from your computer or device.
- visiting City Hall (temporarily located at 20 W. Street, Lebanon) between the hours of 1:00PM and 4:00PM. These hours may be expanded in the coming weeks; please continue to check our website for further information
- requesting the application be mailed to you. Please call or email our office and an application will mailed to you. Try to plan enough time for the application to be mailed to you and for you to return your ballot to us.
As an alternative to completing the form, voters may write a letter of request for an Absentee Ballot and submit by mail, fax, or email to the City Clerk’s office. The letter needs to include all of the following information:
- Voter’s Full Name
- Residential Address
- Mailing Address where the ballot should be sent
- Election Date
- Voter Signature
- In the event the voter has a disability and requires assistance in completing the request for an absentee ballot, the assistant must include the following statement, with his or her signature and the date: "I attest that I assisted the applicant in executing this form because he/she has a disability."
If you are a Lebanon voter, please mail your request to:
City Clerk’s Office
51 N Park Street
Lebanon, NH 03766
Or fax your request to 603-442-6148
Or email your request as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org
While anyone may return another voter’s absentee ballot application to our office, it’s important to know that absentee ballots can only be handed to the voter or mailed to voters. We are unable to hand your ballot to anyone else, regardless of their relation to you. Why only you? New Hampshire Law 657:15 specifies that it must either be mailed to or personally delivered to the applicant.
Completing Your Ballot
Your absentee ballot will come with a set of instructions as well as 2 envelopes: an affidavit envelope and a return envelope. Please carefully read and follow those instructions to complete your ballot.
- Completing the Ballot
Vote for no more than the number specified for each race. For example, you can only vote for one person for Governor and therefore, you should only fill in the oval for the candidate you want to vote for on the ballot or as a write-in. If you fill-in multiple ovals for Governor, your vote will not count.
- Affidavit Envelope
Once you complete your ballot, you will place it in the Affidavit Envelope and seal it. Please sign one of the two affidavits on that envelope that best suits your situation. (For the purpose of COVID 19 - Please sign the Physically Disabled Affidavit) If you have a disability and received assistance in completing your ballot, please have your assistant sign the Affidavit Envelope as well. The person who assisted you does not have to be the same person who assisted you in completing your request for an absentee ballot. If your signature is missing, the ballot will be challenged, which means it does not get counted. Voters whose ballots are challenged are notified shortly after the election.
- Return Envelope
The Affidavit Envelope is then placed inside the Return Envelope. If you have any documents which need to be returned, such as voter registration material, please place those in the Return Envelope as well (do not place them in the affidavit envelope with your ballot). Seal your Return Envelope and if mailing, affix postage.
Returning Absentee Ballots
An absentee ballot can only be returned by mail, in-person by the voter, or by a delivery agent.
Mail: Please mail to City Clerk’s Office, 51 North Park Street, Lebanon, NH 03766
In-Person: You may now return your completed ballot in-person during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 8:00AM to 4:30PM. Staff will ask for your photo identification (see NH RSA 657:17-a). If you are a delivery agent you will also be asked to complete a return form.
Your ballot may be returned in-person at your polling location on Election Day. If you do not wish to enter the building, please locate a greeter for assistance.
Delivery Agent: The following people are considered to be a delivery agent, per NH RSA 657:17:
- The voter’s spouse, parent, sibling, child, grandchild, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, stepparent or stepchild;
- Nursing home administrator licensed pursuant to RSA 151-A:2, or a nursing home staff member designated in writing by the administrator to deliver ballots;
- The residential care facility administrator, or residential care facility staff member designated in writing by the administrator to deliver ballots;
- The person* assisting a blind voter a voter with a disability who has signed a statement on the affidavit envelope acknowledging assistance. *This person cannot deliver more than 4 absentee ballots.
Your delivery agent will be asked to complete a return form and show photo identification in order to deliver your ballot.
**Important** Please do not return your absentee ballot by placing it in the green drop box next to the side entrance to City Hall. Any ballots left in that box will not be counted. This warning appears on the drop box, as a reminder, and also on the directions enclosed with the absentee ballot.
There is not a deadline for requesting absentee ballots, but it is important to understand that unless you obtain your ballot in-person, we must mail your ballot to you. Please try to plan enough time for the ballot to be mailed to you and for the ballot to be returned to us. If you plan to return by mail, you can use shipping companies like FedEx or UPS in addition to the U.S. Postal Service. If you obtain your absentee ballot in-person, you can complete it in our office and then hand it back to us. (Please remember to have your photo ID.)
Day before Election Day: Absentee ballots will be accepted by mail, in-person by the voter, or by a delivery agent through 5 p.m. that day at the City Clerk’s office.
Election Day: Absentee ballots will be accepted by in-person, by mail or by delivery agent until 5:00 p.m. on Election Day at the absentee voter’s polling location or by 4:30 p.m. at the City Clerk’s office.
Overseas Citizens & Uniformed Service Members & Their Dependents
If you are temporarily out-of-the-country or serving in the military or you are the dependent of someone who is in the military, you can obtain an absentee ballot using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). The FPCA application serves as both an absentee ballot request and a voter registration document. The application can be returned to our office by mail, fax (603-442-6148), or email: email@example.com.
Voters who complete this form have the choice of receiving their ballots by email, mail or fax. Depending on your circumstances, you will receive a full Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) ballot or a Federal Office Only UOCAVA ballot.
- Requesting Emailed or Faxed Ballot
If you receive your ballot by email or fax, you will also be sent a UOCAVA oath and directions for completing and returning your ballot. You must return your ballot by mail, even if you received it by fax or email. Please be sure to print "Absentee Ballot Enclosed" on your outer envelope. Shipping providers such as FedEx and UPS can be utilized.
- Requesting Mailed Ballot
You will receive your ballot by mail along with instructions and 2 envelopes: UOCAVA Affidavit Envelope and Return Envelope. The ballot must be returned by mail by 5 p.m. on Election Day. Shipping providers such as FedEx and UPS can be utilized. For More Information, view the Federal Post Card Application (PDF).
Track the Status of Your Ballot
Any absentee voter can use the State of New Hampshire Voter Information Look-up website to check on the status of their absentee ballot. The website will show the date the City Clerk’s office received your application, the date your absentee ballot was mailed to you and the date the absentee ballot was received back by the Clerk’s Office. Information on the site is updated every 24 hours.