Mover's Guide: Delaware

August 10, 2010

Elections Division:  302-739-4277

I moved from the address at which I am registered.  What should I do?

I moved from another state.

If you move to Delaware from another state, you must register to vote in Delaware to be able to vote.[1]  The last day to register in time to vote in the next election is the fourth Saturday before the election.[2]

If you moved from any state, you may register to vote the same day you become a resident of the State of Delaware.[3]  Under federal law, if you move within thirty days of a presidential election, you are allowed to vote for President and Vice President in your former state of residence, either in person or by absentee ballot.[4]

I moved within Delaware.

If you moved to a new address within the state, you should complete a new registration form to update your registration records.[5] This application will be accepted up until the day before a primary or general election.[6]  The online registration tool is available here:

The election is right around the corner and I never updated my registration from my previous address.  What should I do?

Many registered Delaware voters who move are still entitled to cast a ballot that will be counted — even if they did not notify the appropriate election official about the move before Election Day.

Scenario One: New Address, but Same Polling Place

If you moved to a new address that is covered by the same polling place as your old address you are allowed to vote at that polling place after confirming your change of address.  This is true regardless of how close to the election you moved.[7]

Scenario Two: New Address with New Polling Place

If you moved to a new address with a different polling place, you are entitled vote a regular ballot at your new polling place. This ballot will be counted if the election officers at your new polling place can confirm with the Department of Elections that you are authorized to vote.[8]

Alternately, if you go to the polling place associated with your old address on Election Day, you will get a form saying you are eligible to vote.  If you take that form to your new polling place and present identification and proof of address, you can vote without authorization from the Department of Elections.[9]

[1] See Del. Code Ann. tit. 15 § 1101(a); see also Del. Code Ann. tit. 15 § 4938 (2010).

[2] Del. Code Ann. tit. 15 § 2036.

[3] See Willis, 1972 Op. Att’y Gen. No. 038 (May 5, 1972) 1972 Del. AG LEXIS 36 (stating that the Supreme Court’s opinion in Dunn v. Blumstein, 405 U.S. 330, overrules the state’s constitutional residency requirement).

[4] 42 U.S.C. § 1973aa-1(e) (2010).

[5] Del. Code Ann. tit. 15 § 2041.  In Delaware, voters may update their addresses at the DMV which will automatically update their voter registration records, unless the voter declines to do so.  See Del. Code Ann. tit. 15 § 2050(a).

[6] Del. Code Ann. tit. 15 § 2039.

[7] 42 U.S.C. § 1973gg-6(e)(1).

[8] Del. Code Ann. tit. 15 § 2047(3).

[9] Del. Code Ann. tit. 15 § 2047(2).