What is the difference between a sample ballot and a mail/absentee ballot?

The Sample Ballot contains both an information pamphlet and a sample copy (facsimile) of the ballot the voter will be able to cast. This sample contains a complete list of offices and issues for which the voter is eligible to vote.  The sample copy (facsimile) cannot be marked and used as an official ballot. It is for informational purposes only.

Absentee ballots can be requested by voters who cannot or do not wish to vote in-person during early voting or on Election Day.  This is an official ballot that will be cast if voted and returned to the Registrar of Voters office by the deadline.  The request for an absentee ballot must be in writing and made by the deadline for each election to be honored. After the request is processed, the voter will be sent Mail/Absentee Ballot voting materials, which include a paper ballot and voting instructions.