Absentee Ballots and Voting
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
- Absence from City on day of 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.
The voter will need to appear in person at the City Clerk’s office to obtain the ballot. Our office is open until 5:00pm the day before the election for absentee balloting.
Requesting an Absentee Ballot
Requests for absentee ballots must be made in writing and contain your physical signature. (Electronic signatures are not accepted by the State of New Hampshire for voting purposes.) Official Absentee Ballot Request Forms may be obtained by appearing in-person at your city or town clerk's office or can be mailed to you upon request. Request forms can also be found below.
As an alternative to completing the form, the voter 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 ballot should be sent
- Election Date
- Physical Voter Signature (electronic signatures are not accepted by the State of NH for voting purposes)
- 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."
- It the election is a primary and you are listed as "undeclared" (meaning you are not affiliated with a party), you will need to indicate which party ballot you wish to receive. (Democrat or Republican.) If you are registered to a party, you will automatically be sent the party ballot for which you are registered.
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 voter. 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. 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 a family member. The law (NH RSA 657:15) limits the family members to spouse, sibling, parent or child. (Step-relations are acceptable.) The family member will be asked to sign an affidavit attesting to his or her relation to you and will be required to show photo identification.
Due to an update in NH RSA 657:17-a, if you return your absentee ballot in-person, please bring your photo identification.
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.
Day before Election Day: Absentee ballots will be accepted by mail, in-person by the voter, or by a family member (spouse, parent, child or sibling) through 5 p.m. that day at the City Clerk's office.
Election Day: Absentee ballots will be accepted by mail or family members (spouse, parent, child or sibling) 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. Absentee ballots returned in-person by the voter on Election Day cannot be accepted; you will be asked to go to your polling place and vote in person.
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.