Delaware GOP challenges universal vote-by-mail (Randall Chase)

The DE Republican Party has filed a lawsuit in Chancery Court challenging the constitutionality of a recently enacted law allowing universal mail-in-voting in this year’s general election. A permanent injunction is sought barring the DE Dept. of Elections from distributing vote-by-mail ballots or advising that voters can cast absentee ballots for reasons other than those outlined in the DE constitution. Also sought is a declaratory judgement that the General Assembly exceeded its authority in passing the bill, which cleared the Senate handily (18-3) after passing the House on a party-line vote and was signed by the governor on July 1.

Dems say the bill was justified in view of the coronavirus epidemic, so as to protect voters and poll workers and ensure “the continuity of governmental operations,” while Republicans reportedly “expressed concern that the bill could lead to problems with election security and the vote count.”

Under the new law, the Department of Elections is required to mail applications for mail-in ballots to all voters in Delaware with all postage being paid by the state. Polling places would also be kept open. Official estimate is that about half of the November voting would be by mail.

Lawsuit argues that anyone who really can’t get to the polls can already vote absentee, so that procedure should be followed to minimize problems.

In early mail-in voting for the primaries, 5.2% of the mailed-in ballots were rejected due to various irregularities: ballots unsigned or incomplete, ballots received too late and, in 52 cases the “voter” was dead.

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