This page is maintained by Arden’s Registration Committee, the committee charged with maintaining an accurate list of current voters and conducting elections. Here you will find an explanation of Arden’s election procedures and links to past election results.
For current election news and Registration Committee meetings, please see the Registration Committee Page.
Click here to see our Town Charter on the State of Delaware website.
Who May Vote
All residents who are 18 years of age and whose primary residence is in the Village of Arden are eligible to vote at the Town Meetings, in Referendums, in Trustee Elections and other Arden elections.* Renters may vote. Landlords who are not residents may not vote. There is no requirement that a voter be a citizen of the United States or registered for federal elections.
* Arden’s Act to Reincorporate requires a 6-month waiting period for voter eligibility. However, in accordance with Delaware and Federal Law, this 6-month waiting period has been eliminated, effective September 26, 2016. Municipal voter registration in Arden takes only the amount of time needed to add the resident’s information to our resident list. If you are new to the village, or you are not receiving village notices in your mail, please contact the Registration Committee to be added to the list of residents.
Click here to email the Registration Committee.
Arden’s Three Main Elections
- Committee members and officers are elected at the March town meeting.
- Assessors are elected and the town budget is approved or disapproved in a mailed referendum in November.
- Trustees are elected for life through specially held referendums to fill vacancies.
Election of Arden Committee Members & Officers
Committee members serve 2-year terms, and each year half of the committee is up for re-election; most committees elect 3 members in odd-numbered years and 2 members in even-numbered years. For each position up for election, there must be at least 2 nominees. For example, if a committee has 2 members up for election, they must have a minimum of 4 nominees.
Town officers serve one-year terms, except for the treasurer, who has a 2-year term (elected in even-numbered years). There is no requirement to have more than one nominee for any town officer position.
Click here for the current list of Committee Members.
Click here to learn about the job of each committee and officer.
NOMINATIONS for committees are announced at the January Town Meeting, and additional nominations may be made from the floor at that time. In February, a list of nominations will be posted. Individuals wishing to be included in (or removed from) the list of nominees may contact the Chair of the Advisory Committee. Nominations remain open until the March Advisory Meeting. A sample ballot is then prepared by the Registration Committee and posted on the Registration Page of the Village website and on town bulletin boards.
THE ELECTION, by secret ballot, takes place at the March meeting. Ballots are passed out at the start of the meeting, but voting can be done at any time during the meeting. If you cannot attend the entire meeting, you are welcome to come and vote, then leave when you need to, or arrive late to vote. Ballots are counted publicly at the Buzz Ware Village Center, usually the following evening, and results are posted on town bulletin boards and on this website.
A SAMPLE BALLOT is posted at least one week prior to the March Town Meeting. The sample ballot is for information purposes only. You may not use it to vote, although you may mark a copy, bring it to the election, and use it as a reference. The actual ballots are distributed at the start of the Town Meeting and are available throughout the meeting. Those who cannot attend the meeting can request an absentee ballot by submitting an Affidavit (see below).
Absentee Voting in the election of committees & officers
Standing committees and Town Officers for the Village of Arden are elected at the March Town Meeting. The election is conducted by secret ballot. All residents who are 18 years of age and whose primary residence is in the Village of Arden are eligible to vote in the March election of committees and officers. Beginning in March 2012, absentee voting has been available for all residents of Arden who cannot vote in person for the following reasons:
- the resident’s business or occupation prevents him or her from voting at the Town Meeting. “Occupation” shall include care of a family member.
- the resident will be out of town on election day. This includes military service, college, or vacation as examples.
- the tenets or teachings of the resident’s religion prevent participation in the election.
- the resident has a physical disability – either temporary or permanent – which prevents the resident from voting at the Town Meeting.
To obtain an absentee ballot, you must first apply for one by sending an Affidavit for Absentee Ballot to the Registration Committee. You can download the Affidavit for Absentee Ballot by clicking the link below or by contacting any member of the Registration Committee. Affidavits may be submitted any time after Jan 15 until 1 week before the election. Instructions and the deadline for submitting the Affidavit are included on the Affidavit itself. As soon as the ballot is printed (usually the first week in March), you will receive it and must return it either by mail or in person to the town office by 6 p.m. on the day of the election.
Absentee Voting Links
Affidavit for Absentee Ballot Click this link to download the Affidavit to request an Absentee Ballot for the March 27, 2017, election of committees and officers. You will not be downloading the actual ballot, just the form to request a ballot when it is available.
Background: Absentee Voting in Arden Committee & Officer Elections
The Act to Reincorporate specifies that the Town Meeting elects committees in March. Until March 2011 the Registration Committees interpreted this to mean that all balloting must take place at the meeting and there could be no absentee balloting. This is consistent with the practice of many other town meeting governments in the United States.
In 2009 there was a concerted effort to introduce absentee balloting for the March elections (with or without an amendment to our Act to Reincorporate) and, during many open debates, the Town Meeting re-considered the issue. The Registration Committee also found some town meeting governments do, in fact, allow absentee voting in certain circumstances. The most common requirement is that the absentee voting is only allowed for an election conducted by secret ballot, rather than by a floor vote, such as the passage of a motion. Since our election of committees and officers is by secret ballot, and following the precedent of other town meeting governments, the Registration Committee – after its initial adamant resistance – was convinced that absentee balloting could be allowed for our March elections, and still comply with the Act to Reincorporate.
In March 2011, the Town Meeting passed a motion instructing the Registration Committee to establish a procedure for absentee voting to be implemented by March 2012. The full text of that motion can be found here in PDF format.
Nominate someone! Serve on a committee!
If you are interested in learning more about what the committees do, please see “Arden: Here’s How It Works.” Committee work involves a wide variety of interests, skills, and time. Some committees are busy throughout the year, some complete a task or two that are vital to the community, but not too time-consuming. All residents are encouraged to help with the work of keeping our town running by serving on a committee. There is plenty of work to be done: you can contribute to our quality of life in Arden by running for a committee. Newcomers DO get elected and incumbents welcome the opportunity to “pass the baton.” You can nominate yourself, and committee chairs would be grateful if you would.
Budget Referendum & Assessors Election
A description of this election will be posted. Until then, please contact the Registration Committee with your questions.
The Board of Assessors is conducted using the Hare Method of Proportional Representation, also called “single transferable vote” (STV). Here is an easy-to-understand explanation of the Hare System as teacher Jamie Hedges explains the difference between the Plurality method (simple majority) and the Hare System. Click here.
Arden has three trustees who administer the Deed of Trust. When a vacancy occurs, the remaining two trustees nominate a new trustee, usually after seeking comment from the residents. The nominee is then approved or disapproved in a referendum of all eligible voters. A nominee must receive over 50% approval of all eligible voters. Once confirmed, trustees serve for as long as they are willing and able.
Election Results Archive
Links to our most recent election results are below. Results of all elections are stored at the Village Office at the Buzz Ware Village Center and can be accessed during regular office hours, or by contacting the Registration Committee.
Election Results, November 2016 in PDF format Assessors & Budget
Election Results, March 2016 in PDF format Officers & Committee Members
Election Results, November 2015 in PDF format Assessors & Budget
Election Results, March 2015 in PDF format Officers & Committee Members
Election Results, November 2014 in PDF format Assessors & Budget
Election Results, March 2014 Officers & Committee Members
Election Results, November 2013 Assessors & Budget
Election Results, March 2013 Officers & Committee Members
Election Results, February 12, 2013 Trustee Confirmation Referendum
Click here to email the Registration Committee.
2016-17 Registration Committee: Cecilia Vore (chair), Barbara Henry, Elaine Hickey, Barbara Macklem, Mary Murphy.