On Friday, October 7, 2022, the Delaware Supreme Court delivered a blow to voting rights in our state with a ruling that overturned the vote-by-mail and same day registration laws that were passed earlier this year.
Statements from the ACLU of Delaware and the Delaware Voting Rights Coalition are below.
“We are profoundly disappointed by the Delaware Supreme Court decisions overturning vote-by-mail and same day voter registration, and deeply concerned about the impact this ruling will have on voters – not only in this year’s General Election, but for elections to come.
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, and the ACLU remains committed to these reforms.
For now, voters in Delaware will be forced to navigate barriers such as arbitrary registration deadlines and long lines at the polls. A stark consequence of this ruling is that Delaware’s registration deadline will remain one of the longest deadlines allowed by federal law, drastically reducing voter engagement in all of our elections.
We won’t mince words: This is a devastating blow to voting rights in our state. However, this fight is far from over. We’ll take our advocacy efforts back to Legislative Hall in January, and in the meantime, we’ll do everything we can to educate voters about how, where, and when they can cast their ballot on Tuesday, November 8.”
This statement is attributable to Dwayne J. Bensing, Legal Director, ACLU of Delaware (ACLU-DE)
“Today is a sad day for voting rights in Delaware – but despite this setback, the Delaware Voting Rights Coalition is ready to take action. Next week, we will be launching our updated DVRC Voter Guide for the General Election, which will include information about these latest developments.
In the meantime, with just one month until the 2022 General Election, there are a few things that we want to ensure every voter in Delaware knows:
- The deadline to register to vote in the General Election is next Saturday, October 15. If you do not register to vote by that date, you will not be able to cast your ballot. Check your registration status online at ivote.de.us.
- Vote-by-mail is no longer an option for the General Election. The only way that a person can cast their ballot by mail in this year’s General Election is through absentee voting, which requires an excuse. If you plan to vote absentee, you must request your absentee ballot, with a valid excuse, as soon as possible. Request your absentee ballot online at ivote.de.us.
- Early voting is still an option for the General Election, but you must be registered to vote before showing up at an early voting site. Learn more about early voting at votedelaware.org.
Now, more than ever, it is vital that voters in Delaware are educated on how, where, and when they can vote in the 2022 General Election. Voter confusion is one of the strongest forms of voter suppression, so despite these last-minute changes, we’re going to work hard to ensure that voters know how to cast their ballots on Tuesday, November 8.”
This statement is attributable to the Delaware Voting Rights Coalition (DVRC).