Absentee and Alternative Ballots
Absentee Ballot Application and Requirements
You may be eligible for an absentee ballot if:
You are away from your municipality of residence because of occupation, business, or duties;
You are a person who is or may be in the military service of the United States
You are away from home at school, college, or university;
You will be unable to go to the polls because of illness or disability;
You must observe a religious holiday;
You are a county employee with duties on Election Day related to conducting the election.
Please click the button below to download an absentee ballot application and instructions. Once downloaded, you must print the application, fill out the required information, and return the completed application and any additional required documents to:
Philadelphia County Board of Elections
City Hall Room 142
1400 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
You may also call the County Board of Elections at 215-686-3943 to have an absentee ballot application mailed to you, or you may pick one up in person from any of the City Commissioners offices, at the Philadelphia Voter Registration Office, or from the Philadelphia County Board of Elections.
Absentee Ballot Application Deadline: Applications for absentee ballots MUST be received by the County Board of Elections no later than 5:00 PM the Tuesday before an election. Postmarks are NOT honored; applications must be in the office before the deadline.
Return of Absentee Ballots: All absentee ballots must be RECEIVED by the County Board of Elections no later than 5:00 PM the Friday before an election. Postmarks are NOT honored.
Those who are unable to personally pick up or submit an Absentee Ballot may designate a representative todeliver the absentee ballot to the voter and then have that same individual return the completed absentee ballot to the County Board of Elections, by completing the form below.
Emergency Absentee Ballot
Emergency Absentee Ballot Applications: If an emergency (an unexpected trip or illness, for example) arises after the deadline for absentee ballot applications, an “emergency application” may be obtained from the Board of Elections, either in person, by mail, or by clicking the link below. The applicant must attest to the fact of the emergency before a notary public. Emergency applications MUST be received by the County Board of Elections no later than 5:00 PM the Friday before the election. Postmarks are not honored.
Deadline for Returning Emergency Ballots: All emergency absentee ballots must be RECEIVED by the County Board of Elections no later than 5:00 PM the Friday before an election. Postmarks are NOT honored.
Those who are unable to personally pick up or submit an Emergency Absentee Ballot may designate a representative todeliver the absentee ballot to the voter and then have that same individual return the completed absentee ballot to the County Board of Elections, by completing the appropriate forms below.
Last Minute Emergency Absentee Ballot
Last Minute Emergency Ballot Application Procedures: If an emergency occurs after 5:00 PM on the Friday before Election Day but before the close of polls at 8:00 PM on Election Day, then a voter may still receive an Emergency Absentee Ballot by filing the appropriate paperwork with the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. Acceptable paperwork would be an Emergency Absentee Ballot Application or a letter or other signed document that includes the same information contained on the Emergency Absentee Ballot Application.
Those who are unable to personally submit an Emergency Absentee Ballot Application may designate, in writing, a representative todeliver the absentee ballot to the voter and then have that same individual return the completed absentee ballot to the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.
Official Notice of Election for Military and Overseas Voters
You may request an absentee ballot from this office at any time prior to a primary or election. However, if time does not permit you to receive and return an official absentee ballot, you are also entitled to vote using the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB). Military electors may also use the FWAB to register to vote and vote simultaneously.
You may use the FWAB to vote for a candidate for U.S. Representative (Representative in Congress) as well as candidates for all state and local offices, and ballot initiatives.
To vote for U.S. Representative (Representative in Congress), write in the name of the candidate of your choice in the space provided on the FWAB.
To vote for state and local offices or for ballot initiatives, write the names of candidates or ballot initiatives in the Addendum section of the FWAB. Under the Office/Ballot Initiative heading, enter the office the candidate is running for or the title of the Ballot Initiative (referendum). Under the Candidate Name, Party Affiliation or Initiative Vote heading, list the name of the candidate you wish to vote for, or if you are voting on a Referendum questions write “yes” or “no.”