Know Your Voting Rights: Absentee Voting

If you have a physical disability or care for someone with a disability and you are unable to vote in-person on Election Day because of the disability, you can vote by absentee ballot.

Download Our Know Your Rights: Absentee Voting Flyer

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Requesting an absentee ballot

To vote absentee, you must request a ballot from your town or city clerk. You can make a request by mail or in-person. The request form is available online at: absentee-ballots/request-an-absentee-ballot.

If you request an absentee ballot but are not registered to vote, your town or city clerk will send you both your absentee ballot and your absentee voter registration forms and instructions.

You can request an absentee ballot for both the primary election and general election on the same form if both elections occur during the same calendar year. However, New Hampshire does not have a permanent absentee voter status, so you will need to request an absentee ballot each and every election cycle in which you wish to vote absentee.

Plan ahead! Although there is no deadline to request an absentee ballot, you should request it as early as possible so that you have plenty of time to fill it out and return it.

Returning your absentee ballot

You can return your ballot to your city or town clerk by:

  1. Mailing it. If you are mailing your ballot, it must be received by 5 p.m. on Election Day. To ensure your ballot arrives on time, mail it at least two weeks before Election Day. If your ballot arrives after the deadline, it will not be counted.
  2. Returning it in-person. If you return your absentee ballot in-person, you must do so by 5 p.m. on the day before Election Day. You will need to bring a form of ID. Town and city clerks must be available
    between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. on the day before the election
    to receive your ballot.

If you cannot mail or deliver your ballot in-person, there are other ways to make sure your ballot is counted. The laws and rules around these alternatives are very complex and you should contact your city or town clerk to learn more.

Check the status of your absentee ballot online

Election Day emergency

If you experience an emergency on Election Day, including illness or hospitalization, and you can’t make it to the polls, contact your town or city clerk. Someone from your clerk’s office will bring you an absentee ballot and return it to the polling place for you.

You may qualify for an absentee ballot if:

  • You will be absent from your city or town on Election Day
  • You cannot vote in person because of observance of a religious commitment
  • You have a physical disability that prohibits you from voting in person
  • You have an employment commitment (including caregiving) during the entire time the polls are open
  • You are a member of the armed services (or a spouse or dependent of a member) and will be absent on election day
  • Absentee ballots may also be available when a weather emergency impacts an election
    RSA 657:1

Download Our Know Your Rights: Absentee Voting Flyer (PDF, 181 KB)

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Still Have Questions About Voting?

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If you have questions about voting in NH including absentee voting or think your voting rights have been violated because of your disability you can contact us to speak with an attorney free  0f charge.

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Disability Rights Center – New Hampshire is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating barriers for people with disabilities across New Hampshire. DRC is the federally designated protection and advocacy agency for New Hampshire and has authority under federal law to conduct investigations in cases of probable abuse or neglect.

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