Delaware Supreme Court Blocks No-Excuse Mail-In Voting, Same Day Registration

 The Delaware Supreme Court has blocked the state’s mail-in voting laws from taking effect.

In an expedited three-page order Friday, the court, en banc, ruled that laws enacted by the Democrat-controlled state legislature and Democratic Governor John Carney earlier this year violated the state constitution. The ruling struck down a law allowing for no-excuse mail-in voting, and another law allowing same-day voter registration. The state supreme court’s ruling upheld a lower court ruling against the vote-by-mail law, and reversed another ruling in favor of the same-day registration law.

“The Vote-by-Mail Statute impermissibly expands the categories of absentee voters identified in Article V, Section 4A of the Delaware Constitution,” the panel of judges wrote in the order. “Therefore, the judgment of the Court of Chancery that the Vote-by-Mail Statute violates the Delaware Constitution should be affirmed.”

The panel’s decision affirmed a decision by the Delaware Court of Chancery in September that ruled the mail-in voting legislation was unconstitutional. In that decision, Court of Chancery Vice Chancellor Nathan J. Cook ruled that the mail-in voter law violated the state constitution. The Delaware constitution allows for absentee voting only in cases of public service, like serving in political office or the military; being away on business, or accompanying a spouse or dependent; sickness or disability; vacation; or religious objections. But the state law expanded the availability of mail-in voting from only those who needed it to anyone “wishing to vote by mail.” As such, Cook found that the law was inconsistent with the constitution.

The panel also struck down the lower court’s ruling keeping the same-day registration law in place. “The Same-Day Registration Statute conflicts with the provisions of Article V, Section 4 of the Delaware Constitution. Consequently, the judgment of the Court of Chancery that the Same-Day Registration Statute does not violate the Delaware Constitution should be reversed.”

Cook had previously allowed the same-day voter registration law to stand in the lower court ruling. Cook ruled that the state Constitution provided for a minimum number of days voters could be allowed to register; it did not however, impose limits on the number of days, or when the registration period would end.

The state supreme court issued the order ahead of the 2022 midterms, and in recognition of the state Department of Elections’ desire to start sending out mail ballots by the beginning of next week. The order takes effect immediately, and a formal opinion will be published later.

“This is a win for the rule of law in Delaware’s Elections,” J. Christian Adams, president of the conservative legal nonprofit Public Interest Legal Foundation, said in a statement, via the Epoch Times. “This law violated the plain text of the Delaware Constitution that provides specific reasons people are allowed to cast absentee ballots and when voter registration can take place. If Delaware lawmakers want to have mail-in voting, they need to pass a constitutional amendment.” The PILF represented one of the plaintiffs in the case.

The Delaware court’s decision comes just a few months after the Wisconsin Supreme Court banned the use of unmanned ballot drop boxes; the Court also banned voters from giving ballots to others to submit them.

Delaware Supreme Court Blocks No-Excuse Mail-In Voting, Same Day Registration Delaware Supreme Court Blocks No-Excuse Mail-In Voting, Same Day Registration Reviewed by Your Destination on October 08, 2022 Rating: 5

No comments