[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Ocean View as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Election districts — See Ch. 13.
[Adopted 4-7-1987 by Ord. No. 48]
Every person who shall have reached the age of 18 years who is a citizen of the United States, and who has been a resident of the Town of Ocean View for six months immediately preceding the date of an election and meets qualifications for voting in elections held for representatives in the General Assembly of the State of Delaware and shall have registered on the "Books of Registered Voters" of the Town of Ocean View, shall be entitled to vote in the annual municipal elections.
The Town Council shall provide two registers to be known as the "Books of Registered Voters" which shall be kept by the Secretary and shall be conclusive evidence of the right of any person to vote at the annual election. The "Books of Registered Voters" shall contain the names of those persons who have registered in alphabetical order and the following information for each registrant: Name and permanent address of the registrant, the local address of the registrant, the birth date of the registrant, the date the registrant became a resident of the State of Delaware, and the date the registrant became a resident of the Town of Ocean View and other pertinent information.
No person shall be registered upon the "Books of Registered Voters" unless he or she will have acquired the qualifications to vote in the annual election for the year in which he or she registers.
[Amended 11-18-2008 by Ord. No. 240]
A person shall be required to register one time; provided, however, that if a registered voter fails to vote in two consecutive annual elections in which there is a contest, his name shall be removed from the "Books of Registered Voters" and notice shall be sent to said registered voter at his last known address by first class mail advising that his name has been removed from the "Books of Registered Voters" and that it will be necessary to register again in order to be eligible to vote at the annual election.
[Amended 12-4-2007 by Ord. No. 228; 11-18-2008 by Ord. No. 240]
The person may register at the Town Hall during its regular office hours by completing and returning such forms as may be provided by the Town in person or by mail or downloaded from the Town’s website; provided, however, that no person shall be registered after the close of business on the 10th business day prior to any election or referendum. Appropriate identification must be presented/indicated on the voter registration form when it is returned to the Town Hall, whether in person or by mail.
[Adopted 11-6-1990 by Ord. No. 62]
Any qualified voter of the Town of Ocean View who shall be unable to appear to cast his ballot at any municipal election at the regular polling place in the Town of Ocean View 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 such person will be unavoidably absent on the day of the election.
Because such person is sick or has a physical disability.
Because such person is absent while on vacation.
Because such person is unable to vote at a certain time or on a certain day because of the tenets or teachings of his religion.
Any voter desiring to obtain an absentee ballot because of any of the reasons set forth in § 54-6 of this article shall file or cause to be filed with the Town Administrator an affidavit, subscribed and sworn to before an officer authorized to administer oaths, and dated not earlier than 30 days nor later 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 Administrator not later than 12:00 noon, prevailing time, on the day immediately preceding the day of the next ensuing election before the Town Administrator shall mail or deliver to the voter the official ballot.
Upon receipt from a voter of the affidavit as required by the provisions of § 54-9 of this article, the Town Administrator, 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.
[Amended 2-2-1993 by Ord. No. 74]
Each applicant for an absentee ballot shall file an affidavit in substantially the following form:
[Amended 2-2-1993 by Ord. No. 74]
Upon receipt by the Town Administrator of the affidavit in substantially the form set forth in § 54-9 of this article, the Town Administrator shall deliver or mail with postage prepaid to the voter who has applied for an absentee ballot an official ballot and an official envelope.
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 Administrator or mailed to the Town Administrator 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 Administrator 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 Administrator shall forthwith enclose the official envelope as received by him and unopened in a special carrier envelope, the Town Administrator having first written his usual signature on the special carrier envelope. The Town Administrator shall forthwith securely seal the special carrier envelope, and in ink the Town Administrator 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 Mayor 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 Administrator, the official envelope containing the marked ballot, sealed in the special carrier envelope of the Town of Ocean View, shall be enclosed and sealed in a package and safely kept in his office until the day of the election and delivered to the Judges of Election after the opening of the polls on the election and at least one hour before the closing of the polls. The Town Administrator shall deliver all such absentee voters' ballots separately enclosed in a special carrier envelope to the Judges of Election at the polls taking their seat as the Judges of Election for the delivery of such a ballot or ballots.
The Judges of Election shall refuse to receive any absentee voter's ballot from any person other than the Town Administrator or a duly authorized agent of the Town Administrator and shall receive no other ballots other than those ballots enclosed in the sealed package delivered by the Town Administrator to the Judges of Election and shall refuse to receive or act upon any such ballot that is not enclosed in an envelope bearing the signature, in ink, of the Town Administrator 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 Administrator and ascertain the name of the absentee voter as appears by the executed affidavit of the absentee voter on the official envelope enclosing the marked 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 Ocean View 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 or the affidavit thereon and shall take therefrom the official ballot. The Judges of Election 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 Board of Election, 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 Ocean View was not absent from the Town of Ocean View 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 Ocean View 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 Administrator 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 Judges of Election decide that the altered ballot contained therein should be rejected for any of the foregoing reasons, it shall not be opened by the Judges of Election, 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 Judges of Election 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 Town Council of Ocean View shall cause to be provided a register of absentee voters, providing for the following entries: