Filling Out Your NH Absentee Ballot
(Comments in dark red apply to voting during the Covid 19/coronavirus pandemic)
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. If your instructions fail to mention directions for a concern with COVID-19, see the Special COVID-19 Advisory under Affidavit Envelope, below.
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.
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 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.) Special COVID-19 advisory: Your affidavit envelope does not mention COVID-19 as an excuse. Sign the "Religious Observance/Physical Disability affidavit on the right side, per special 2020 permission of the Secretary of State and Attorney General.
- If you have a disability and received assistance in completing your ballot, please have your assistant sign the Affidavit Envelope as well. Follow the instructions here. The person who assisted you does not have to be the same person who assisted you in completing your request for an absentee ballot.
- 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).
- Fill out the outer envelope entirely, with your town, full name, address and voting place in the upper left hand corner.
- Seal your Return Envelope and if mailing, affix postage.
- If you are assisting someone with a disability, there is a separate affidavit to fill out, sign & seal.
Returning Your NH Absentee Ballot
After completing your ballot, if you plan to mail it back, allow for at least one week for domestic mail and a month for non-military international mail. For Uniformed Service members using UOCAVA, follow special instructions here.
The ballot must be received at the Town Clerk's office by 5:00 P.M. on Election Day. An absentee ballot may NOT be faxed. It may, however, be hand-delivered by you, or a "delivery agent" with an ID on election day.
A delivery agent is someone in your family as defined here, or can be a designated person from a nursing or residential care facility, or the person who assisted in filling out the ballot and who signed to affidavit noted in the instructions. Any approved delivery agent must have a photo ID when dropping off another voter's absentee ballot.
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.
If you choose to vote by absentee, do plan ahead to insure that your vote will be processed efficiently and that your vote will be counted. Take your time in filling out the ballot, making sure to read and follow instructions.
During the COVID-19 pandemic period, Moderators, Town Clerks and Supervisors of the Checklist will be under tremendous pressure to process unprecedented numbers of absentees. Requesting your ballot early and returning it promptly will insure that your vote counts.
If you have questions about the absentee ballot process, please contact your Town or City Clerk, who can also consult with the Town Moderator or Supervisor of the Checklist, or with the Secretary of State's office for unusual situations.
For disputes, complaints can be filed with the NH Attorney General's Election Law Division. Toll free Election Line: 1-866-868-3703 (1-866-VOTER03)
Thank you to the League of Women Voters NH and the City of Lebanon for portions of this information.
New - Aug. 2020: The NH Secretary of State has announced a voter information hotline, which had been highly recommended by the Select Committee for 2020 Emergency Election Support. If you have a question, contact the Secretary of State's new voter hotline is 833-726-0034.