[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Town of Bridgeville as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 11-12-2001 by Ord. No. 01-9]
Any qualified voter of the Town of Bridgeville who shall be unable to appear to cast his ballot at any municipal election at the regular polling place in the Town of Bridgeville for any of the following reasons shall be entitled to cast an absentee ballot and to have his vote counted:
Because such person is in the public service of the United States or of this state.
Because of the nature of such person's business or occupation.
Because such person is sick or has a physical disability.
Because such person will be unavoidably absent on the day of the election.
Because such person is absent while on vacation.
Any voter desiring to obtain an absentee ballot because of any of the reasons set forth in § 17-1 of this article shall file or cause to be filed with the Town Secretary an affidavit, subscribed and sworn to before an officer authorized to administer oaths, and dated not earlier than 30 days nor less than the day before the next ensuing election setting forth the reason why such person needs to vote by absentee ballot. Such affidavit shall be filed with the Town Secretary not later than 12:00 noon, prevailing time, on the day immediately preceding the day of the next ensuing election before the Town Secretary shall mail or deliver to the voter the official ballot.
Upon receipt from a voter of the affidavit as required by the provisions of § 17-4 of this article, the Town Secretary, not more than 30 days nor less than one day prior to the annual municipal election and within three days after the ballots, envelopes and instructions for absentee voters become available, shall mail to the voter, postage prepaid, or deliver personally to the voter an official ballot enclosed in an official envelope and a copy of the instructions to absentee voters. Nothing contained in this section shall prevent the issuance of an absentee ballot to those lawfully entitled thereto prior to 12:00 noon, prevailing time, on the day prior to the election.
Each applicant for an absentee ballot shall file an affidavit in substantially the following form:
Upon receipt by the Town Secretary of the affidavit in substantially the form set forth in § 17-4 of this article, the Town Secretary shall deliver or mail with postage prepared to the voter who has applied for absentee ballot an official ballot and an official envelope. There shall be printed on the face of the official envelope an affidavit in substantially the following form:
The absentee voter shall make and subscribe to the affidavit printed on the official envelope before an officer authorized by law to administer oaths, and such voter shall thereupon mark his ballot in such a manner that the officer cannot know how the ballot is marked, and the ballot shall then and in the presence of the officer be deposited by the voter in the official envelope and securely sealed. Thereupon, the official envelope containing the marked ballot shall be delivered to the Town Secretary or mailed to the Town Secretary with postage prepaid. In either case, the ballot must be received by the Town Administrator before the close of business on the day immediately preceding the day of the election and not thereafter.
Any absentee ballot received by the Town Administrator after the close of business on the day before the election shall not be forwarded to the Board of Elections, but the Town Secretary shall endorse on the official envelope containing such ballot the time such was received and shall retain all such ballots unopened and so endorsed until the last day of May next after the election and longer if directed to do so by proper authority.
Upon receipt of the official envelope from the absentee voter, the Town Secretary shall forthwith enclose the official envelope as received by him and unopened in a special carrier envelope, the Town Secretary having first written his usual signature on the special carrier envelope. The Town Secretary shall forthwith securely seal the special carrier envelope, and in ink the Town Secretary shall write his full name thereon in the proper place as indicated in this article and shall securely keep the same in his office until delivered as required in this article. Neither the President nor any member of the Town Council nor any other person shall open or attempt to open the official envelope containing the ballot of the absentee voter or to change or alter, or attempt to do so, the envelope or any writing, printing or anything whatsoever thereon.
When an absentee voter's ballot is received by the Town Secretary, the official envelope containing the marked ballot, sealed in the special carrier envelope of the Commissioners of Bridgeville, shall be enclosed and sealed in a package and safely kept in his office until the day of the election and delivered to the Election Board after the opening of the polls on the election and at least one hour before the closing of the polls. The Town Secretary shall deliver all such absentee voter's ballots separately enclosed in a special carrier envelope to the Election Board at the polls taking their seat as the Election Board for the delivery of such a ballot or ballots.
The Election Board shall refuse to receive any absentee voter's ballot from any person other than the Town Secretary or a duly authorized agent of the Town Secretary and shall receive no other ballots other than those ballots enclosed in the sealed package delivered by the Town Secretary to the Election Board and shall refuse to receive and act upon any such ballot that is not enclosed in an envelope bearing the signature, in ink, of the Town Secretary as required by this article.
At any time between the opening and closing of the polls on the day of the election, the inspector shall open the package delivered by the Town Secretary and ascertain the name of the absentee voter as appears by the executed affidavit of the absentee voter on the official envelope enclosing the market ballot; whereupon he shall announce the absentee voter's name for the purpose of challenging and upon the determination that such person is a duly qualified voter of the Town of Bridgeville and that such person has not voted in person at the election, he shall open the official envelope containing such absentee voter's ballot in such a manner as not to deface or destroy the number thereof of the affidavit thereon and shall take therefrom the official ballot. The Election Board shall enter the name and address of the absentee voter on the poll list. The ballot shall then be voted by depositing same in the ballot box provided for receipt of absentee ballots, and the proper notations of such vote shall then be recorded in the election records in the same manner as if the voter had appeared to cast his vote in person. All official envelopes from which ballots have been taken and voted and all official envelopes containing ballots which have been rejected or endorsed as provided by this article shall be preserved by the Election Board, and the close of the count shall be locked in the ballot box.
The vote of any absentee voter may be challenged for cause and further the vote of any absentee voter may be challenged on the ground that the affidavit filed by the voter in accordance with the provisions of this article is false or that the voter who was allegedly absent from the Town of Bridgeville was not absent from the Town of Bridgeville for the entire time that the polls were open on the day of the election. Upon challenge, proceedings shall be as in the case of other challenges.
In case the affidavit of the absentee voter is found to be insufficient or the absentee voter is not a duly qualified voter of the Town of Bridgeville or the official envelope is opened or has been opened and resealed or it is evident that the official envelope has been tampered with or altered or such ballot has been forwarded to the polls by someone other than the Town Secretary or his duly authorized agent, such vote shall not be accepted or counted. If the official envelope has not been opened at the time the Election Board decides that the altered ballot contained therein should be rejected for any of the foregoing reasons, it shall not be opened by the Election Board, but they shall endorse thereon "rejected" (giving the reason therefor) and that the official envelope has been opened and the ballot rejected; the official envelope containing the ballot shall be replaced in the same carrier envelope from which it was taken and the election officer shall endorse on that envelope "rejected" (giving the reason therefor). Whenever it is made to appear by due proof to the Election Board that any absentee voter who has marked and forwarded his ballot has died, the official envelope containing the ballot shall not be opened, but shall be marked "rejected, dead" and shall be preserved and disposed of as other rejected ballots.
The Commissioners of Bridgeville shall cause to be provided a register of absentee voters, providing for the following entries:
[Adopted 12-10-2007 by Ord. No. A07-9; amended in its entirety 1-9-2012 by Ord. No. A11-6]
There shall be five representative districts in the Town of Bridgeville, as depicted on the map of the 2011 election districts for the Town of Bridgeville, attached hereto and made a part hereof, prepared by University of Delaware, dated January 9, 2012.
The official 2011 Election District Map, as amended by this ordinance, shall be identified by the signature of the President, attested by the Town Secretary, and bearing the Seal of the Town under the following words:
[Amended 8-8-2016 by Ord. No. 16-3]