Delaware Voting Rights Coalition

Sign up for dvrc Updates

Who we are

We are Delaware's first statewide coalition of voting rights organizations and advocates. Under the umbrella of the Delaware Voting Rights Coalition, we are advocates encouraging voters and policymakers to consider reforms that will improve access to voting. We empower communities, especially communities of color, people who speak English as a second language, people involved in the justice system, people with disabilities, and young people, to identify and remedy barriers to the ballot box. We are ready to work with legislators, local election officials, and the Department of Elections to make these reform recommendations a reality.

Coalition partners

What we support

We want to ensure that everyone who has the right to vote can exercise that right in a meaningful, transparent, safe, and secure manner. We support reforms that broaden access for all eligible voters to register and cast their ballots. Specifically, we support reforms that: 

  • Extend the voter registration deadline through election day
  • Ensure that all registered voters are able to cast a mail ballot 
    • Make ballots widely accessible and easily returnable in each Delaware House District
    • Create a reliable process for a voter easily to track their ballot cast by mail and to correct any ballot rejection
  • Educate all eligible voters about the option to cast a mail or early vote ballot
    • All voter information should be available in multiple languages
  • Allow eligible incarcerated voters to successfully cast ballots 
  • Expand and enhance accessibility standards for voters with disabilities 

Get involved

Sign up for DVRC email updates

Our priorities 

One thing is at the very core of our democracy: choice. Voters should have options on how we get to exercise that democratic choice.

Read more about our 2023 legislative priorities below. 

DVRC 2023 Legislative Priorities

Vote By Mail and Same-Day Registration

On Friday, October 7, 2022, the Delaware Supreme Court issued a ruling that overturned the vote by mail and same-day registration laws that were passed during the 2022 legislative session.

This decision was a devastating blow to voting rights in Delaware. Without a constitutional amendment, Delaware will be forced to navigate barriers such as arbitrary registration deadlines and long lines at the polls. As a consequence of this ruling, Delaware’s registration deadline will remain one of the longest deadlines allowed by federal law, drastically reducing voter engagement in all of our elections.

Delawareans overwhelmingly want to be able to cast their ballots freely and fairly, and vote by mail and same day registration improved access securely for thousands of voters. Delaware’s General Assembly must work now to pass constitutional amendments in order to enact these changes permanently. The Delaware Voting Rights Coalition remains committed to these advoacting for a consitutional amendment that expands access to the ballot for all voters.

Prison Voting

Voting is a right—not a privilege, and voting restrictions fall particularly hard on systems-involved individuals. Due to racial bias in the criminal justice system, barriers to voting while incarcerated, restrictions on voting while on robation, and felony disenfranchisement laws disproportionately affect Black and brown people, who often face harsher sentences than white people for the same offenses.

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 insurmountable barriers when trying to cast their ballot. During the 2022 Midterm Elections, there is no recored of a single eligible incarcerated individual in Delaware successfully casting 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 Delaware Voting Rights Coalition is committed to ensuring that elected officials chamption reforms that allow incarcerated individuals to request, receive, and return a ballot.

Voters with Disabilities

Despite the fact that one in four adults in Delaware identifies as having a disability, voters with disabilities have long faced some of the greatest barriers to voting in our elections- from inaccessible polling places and a lack of working accessible voting machines to restrictions on voting by mail. 

Federal law, including the Americans with Disabilities Act and Voting Rights Act, require election workers to:

  • Make polling places fully accessible to voters with disabilities.
  • Have at least one voting system at each polling place that allows people with disabilities to vote privately and independently.
  • Allow voters with disabilities to receive in-person help at the polls (except from an agent of your employer or union).
  • Make other reasonable accommodations if possible for them to do so.

The Delaware Voting Rights Coalitioni is committed to advoacting for reforms that making voting easier and more accessible for voters with disabilities. The Delaware Department of Elections and the state must champion efforts like improving physical access to polling sites on Election Day, creating better transportation options, and simplifying and updating electronic absentee ballot delivery and return for those who qualify.