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Delaware court rules permanent absentee, early voting laws violate state constitution

A 2019 state law allowed for 10 days of early voting, despite the state constitution only allowing for one day of voting in the general election.

Published: February 26, 2024 11:31am

Updated: February 26, 2024 12:52pm

A Delaware court has ruled that state laws on early and permanent-absentee voting violate the state constitution.

The state's Superior Court ruled Friday that a 2019 law passed by the state legislature, which allows 10 days of early voting, violates the state constitution that the General Election is to be held on one day.

The court also found that the state's Permanent Absentee Voting Statute violates state law by allowing voters to be placed on a permanent absentee voting list where ballots would automatically be sent to them for each election.

The voting laws were challenged in court by the Public Interest Legal Foundation.

The group initially brought the lawsuit in 2022 on behalf of Michael Mennella, an inspector of elections for the Delaware Department of Elections.

The law firm also brought and won a lawsuit in the state Supreme Court on behalf of Mennella in 2022 regarding a state law allowing same-day voter registration and universal vote-by-mail. The state's high court ruled that the law violated the state's constitution.

“This decision invalidated Delaware laws that allowed for early and permanent absentee voting," PILF President J. Christian Adams said Monday. "States cannot pass election laws that conflict with their state constitution. This decision is a win for the rule of law.”

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