On December 7, 2023, the ACLU of Delaware, American Civil Liberties Union, Shaw Keller LLP, and Proskauer Rose LLP filed a lawsuit challenging Delaware’s failure to provide eligible incarcerated voters any constitutionally guaranteed method of voting, which violates their First and 14th Amendment rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

Read the press release here

In Delaware, thousands of people are disenfranchised every election because they are incarcerated. Those who are held in pretrial detention or convicted of misdemeanors do not legally lose their voting rights, but still encounter incredible barriers when trying to cast their ballot. In 2020, not a single incarcerated individual successfully cast a ballot. During the 2022 Midterm Elections, only three eligible, incarcerated voters in Delaware successfully cast a ballot. 

Voting allows people to remain connected to their communities while incarcerated and helps facilitate the re-entry process. Delaware lawmakers must understand the importance of maintaining and fostering this connection, and the role that access to the ballot plays in encouraging civic participation and engagement.

The ACLU of Delaware has been monitoring prison voting in Delaware for quite some time. Included on this page are letters that the ACLU of Delaware has sent to various government officials to protect the rights of eligible, incarcerated voters and the responses received. 

I have a felony conviction. Can I vote?