The following may be attributed to Andrew Bernstein, ACLU of Delaware Cozen Voting Rights Fellow, regarding the recent decision by the Superior Court of Delaware in Mennella v. Albence: 

We are disappointed by the Court’s decision that Delaware’s early voting and permanent absentee voting laws violate the state Constitution. We believe that both laws are permissible under Delaware’s Constitution and give voters, especially those historically disenfranchised, the options they need to cast a secure ballot.  

We urge the State to appeal this decision and request a stay of its enforcement. Ballots for the upcoming presidential primary election may already be requested by overseas and uniformed voters, and plans for early in-person voting have been announced. It is in the best interest of voters to ensure the status quo and that voters may continue to access these options until the state’s highest court has had the ability to weigh in.  

This attack on voting rights is part of a larger national effort to make it harder to participate in our democracy. Here in Delaware, we already saw the devastating impact of this larger national effort when another lawsuit successfully challenged no-excuse vote by mail and same-day registration.

These lawsuits are connected, and they aim to impose unpopular and anti-democratic rules upon Delawareans that make it harder for eligible voters to cast a ballot and relegate Delaware’s election laws behind many other states in terms of access. The ACLU of Delaware is committed to opposing this effort and ensuring that Delaware’s constitution advances our most fundamental right for every eligible voter to have their voice heard at the ballot box.