A Delaware Supreme Court expedited decision Friday affirmed a Chancery Court ruling that a newly enacted vote-by-mail statute was unconstitutional.
Friday’s ruling also reversed the Chancery Court’s decision upholding a same-day registration statute. The Supreme Court ruled that it, too, was unconstitutional.
“The Court enters this abbreviated order in recognition of the impending election scheduled for November 8, 2022, and the Department of Election’s desire to mail ballots to voters by or around October 10, 2022,” justices wrote in their opinion.
The law allowing mail-in voting for any reason was enacted by the state’s General Assembly in July before Gov. John Carney (D-DE) signed it. Carney declared that the new law gives any interested voter the option to request an application for a mail-in ballot for any reason.
Delaware’s Constitution only permits absentee voting for eligible individuals who cannot travel to a polling location due to sickness or physical disability. The Supreme Court today reminded the governor and legislature of that.
Vice Chancellor Nathan Cook of the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware ruled against the vote-by-mail law in September. Cook rejected the law after determining it conflicted with the state constitution.
“This is a win for the rule of law in Delaware’s Elections,” said Public Interest Legal Foundation President J. Christian Adams in a statement. “This law violated the plain text of the Delaware Constitution that provides specific reasons people are allowed to cast absentee ballots and when voter registration can take place. If Delaware lawmakers want to have mail-in voting, they need to pass a constitutional amendment.”
The Public Interest Legal Foundation represented plaintiff Michael Mennella, an inspector of elections for the Delaware Department of Elections. The PILF is a public interest law firm dedicated wholly to election integrity, according to the group’s website.
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