Requesting an Absentee Ballot by Mail
Requests can only be made by completing an Absentee Ballot Request Form.
The request may be sent by the methods noted below. In all cases please make sure to sign the request:
- By Mail: Durham County Board of Elections, Attn: Absentee Ballots, PO Box 868, Durham, NC, 27702
- By Email: The signed request can be sent as a scanned attachment to email@example.com (see below for e-mail tips)
- By Fax: (919) 560-0688; Attn: Durham County Board of Elections
An absentee ballot can be requested by any voter registered in Durham County or the voter's near relative or verifiable legal guardian. "Near relative" means spouse, sibling, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, step-parent, or step-child.
Here are the parts of the form that are required in order for it to be promptly processed:
- Naming a specific election for the request -- either by name or date (see note below)
- Full name
- Home address
- Date of birth
- Either Driver's License/State ID Number OR last four digits of Social Security Number
- Signature and date
The request should be for a specific election occurring within 90 days of the request.
Returning the Absentee Ballot
The absentee ballot return envelope can be delivered back to the Board of Elections by mail or commercial courier. Alternatively, the return envelope can also be delivered in person to any early voting site or the Durham County Board of Elections office, but only by the voter or the voter's near relative or legal guardian. The Board of Elections cannot accept as timely return envelopes after 5:00 p.m. on Election Day, unless arriving by mail within three business days and postmarked by Election Day.
The return envelope cannot be accepted at any polling place on Election Day.
Military and Overseas Voters
If you are a military service member (or immediate family member) who is absent from Durham County, or a U.S. citizen living overseas, you are encouraged to use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to request your absentee ballot. If you are not registered to vote in Durham County it will also serve to accomplish that. Please fill it out as thoroughly as possible and mail/fax/scan and e-mail to us. For military and overseas voters, that will ensure you get ballots for all elections to be held this calendar year. Click here for more information and forms.
When returning the ballot, the materials will also give military-overseas voters the option of requesting ballots for the upcoming calendar year.
If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org (see below for e-mail tips).
Email Tips: Durham County employs various levels of spam blockers. (More than 95% of the email sent to Durham County is spam.) Public email accounts such as gmail, yahoo, hotmail, etc. will usually make it through, with perhaps some delay the first time they are sent. Accounts from other countries will almost certainly be blocked. (These are email addresses that end in .country abbreviation). Receipt acknowledgements/replies will be sent within a few days. (Please allow time for holidays, weekends and email filter delays.) If you do not receive a reply, try sending your request by a different email account, fax or mail.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is qualified to vote absentee ballot by mail?
Any registered voter may vote an absentee ballot. No reason is required.
How can I receive an absentee ballot by mail?
In order to receive an absentee ballot you must first complete a request form. This form is available here on our website or you may call, email, or mail us a request to send you the form. You will not be able to receive an absentee ballot unless this required form is properly completed and signed by the voter or requester.
May I request an absentee ballot by mail for someone else?
If you are a near relative (as defined above) or a verifiable legal guardian you may request a ballot by completing the required request form.
Note on Power of Attorney: Power of Attorney is not the same as legal guardian. Power of Attorney does not give an individual the right to sign for another for a request or the absentee ballot.
Military/Overseas Voters: To take advantage of special voting options, the request must to be made by the voter him- or herself.
May I mail my voted absentee ballot together with another voter's Absentee Ballot in the same envelope?
No. Each voter receives an absentee ballot return envelope. That envelope is specific to each voter and should be returned only with that voter's completed ballot inside.